Even though the prefix of barrister to his name wasn’t a borrowed one, or for that matter, a honourary offer, Hassan Bello have been rumoured to plead with associates to refer to him simply as Mr or Mallam Hassan Bello.
Hassan Bello e reminds us of the great Nigerian accounting octopus, Mr. Fatai Williams who found it clearly uncomfortable to wear the title of a chief, and preferred to be addressed simply as Mr. Williams. Exceptional professionals!
Hassan Bello is the Executive Secretary and CEO of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council. He trained as a lawyer and began his career at the Sokoto State Ministry of Justice and the state’s Investment Company Limited, where he rose to become Acting Managing Director & CEO in the early 1990s before he joined the Council in 1998 as Deputy Director and Head of Legal Services. He was later to rise to the rank of a Director, and subsequently became Director Legal Services, a position he held for many years before he was appointed helmsman of the Council.
By stroke of destiny and dint of hard work, Hassan Bello has grown to become the first CEO of a critical agency in the nation’s maritime industry that has shown genuine commitment to the cause and growth of the national economy. Without gainsaying, he comes across as the first to look beyond the vicissitude of political appointments, in sticking out his neck for a genuine and purposeful industry development template.
Unconcerned about whether he would be here tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, it is on record Hassan Bello made yesterday and everyday count in all his official dispositions and leadership endeavours. He became an apostle of ports development, of capacity building initiatives, of ports trade cost efficiencies, and often to be found at the fore front of efforts to translate port policy issues into tangible deliverables.
Whenever port users have cried, Hassan Bello has wept: sincere stewardship credentials cannot be more than this. Very often he has taken the fight head on, and challenges those at the pressure points to keep to the rules of engagement.
Very often too, he has had to leave the comfort zone of his office into the operational areas, for on the spot assessments of issues and the demand of compliance, while occasionally wielding the big stick, to weep back into line, those in contravention.
If our quest to diversify the economy succeeds and our quest to take the ports upland vide the establishments of dry ports succeeds, having the necessary nexus in terms of logistics interface, in terms of infrastructural network, and in terms of like reducing the pressure on our highways and resuscitating the railway, if they come up full swing and functional, it is to Hassan Bello Nigeria owes the gratitude.
Thankfully, his doggedness and commitment have not gone unnoticed; the World Bank honoured him with an award for his immeasurable contributions to ease of doing business at the ports.
While we predict his national honour, which we strongly believe Nigeria owes him and should come in no distant time, we present to BARR HASSAN BELLO, a man who remains a driving force behind the National Transport Commission Bill, as our Maritime Living LEGEND of the week.