Recently in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer of Bolify Africa Ltd, Mr. Paul Ifeanyi, had an interactive session with Cliffsimeon Akalonu How did you find yourself in the maritime industry? I am wealthy in experience because I have spent many years in maritime industry, after I studied shipping in school with a degree in Maritime Management Technology, in Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO). I had my Masters in Transport Planning and Management, in the University of Lagos (UNILAG). I am a native of Rivers State and you can see that I am practically in touch in the sea.  I have a background in Marketing and Sales (M&S). The CEO Bolify Africa is also a member of certified International Trade specialist by the Dollap Stone University, Oregon, in the United States and by the grace of God I am married with a wife. Tell us more about Bolify Africa Bolify Africa is a freight forwarding company and also a logistics company. And it has been since 2015, but we got incorporated in 2017. What we basically do is everything that has to do with the movement of cargo by sea or by air, but our major, major focus is on export of agricultural products and non-agricultural products to many parts of the world. As far as am concerned, Bolify Africa has more than experienced team to work with in the world, the team that will not only stop at helping Bolify Africa in service to humanity in achieving its good will; but the team that will help Nigeria in the drive for the ease of doing business in our ports. It will also interest you to know that we have done businesses with some big wigs in the industry, the likes of Gudel Agro, Christop and Chritoph, the importers of PVC; Chrisans Nig, importers of fiber materials. We also air freight food stuffs to any part of the world, including fabrics. What inspired you to go into Shipping, Logistics and Trucking? Apart from the fact that I studied Shipping in my degree and Masters in maritime, I developed the love for shipping in my school days then, in the university. It all started when I began to see that there is a need to create a solution for people who had issues, who didn’t know where to go to, because, they wanted to export or import products or clear some of their containers at sea port. What also inspired us is- we wanted to provide a transport solution to our customers such that they can move cargo with ease because that is our vision and our selling point ‘to move your cargo with ease’. How are you coping with the economic down turn? The economic down turn as mentioned is affecting everybody but by God’s grace, we position our self to remain stable in the face of our customers, trying to know how they are doing in this period, and why we do that is because the moment the economy adjusts, they will remember that ohh! Bolify Africa has been there with us through the bad times; now the business or the economy is getting better, lets contact them for their services. What is the level of patronage? Well, we thank God for His mercies. Though is coming gradually, but we pray it will be stable inflow as time goes on. What do you look forward in achieving? To be one of the leading in logistics in Africa, by delivering excellent services to our customers in terms of just in time delivery, as it regards to their transport request and make sure we render to them (costumers) at affordable prices. What are the challenges so far? The challenge presently is, trucking, we find it difficult to explain to our customers why the cost of trucking has increased over some period of weeks and this is attributed to the traffic gridlock in Apapa. What do you think can be done to aid improve transport and logistics in Nigeria? You know there is no way you can talk about transport without talking about logistics and there is no way you can talk about logistics without talking about transport; so they work hand in hand. Then, Nigerian government should think on how to expand our modes of transportation, and as a country, we need to revitalize our rail sector, also our water ways sector. At least I have travelled to some countries in Europe and you could see where cargoes changes from one mode of transport to another. For example, in Germany where cargoes move from the hinterland by rail, and by the time it gets to Hamburg, it is moved from the rail to a batch by sea and it further goes on to all other modes of transportation thereby, making it so smooth for free flow of business and you can see how they are related. Nigeria needs to look at how we can connect our rail networks to other means of transportation, that way, it will reduce the logistics, the logistics of cargo within and outside the nation, which is one area we really need to give attention to. We have a lot of water ways in Nigeria especially here in Lagos State that are not fully harnessed and there is nothing wrong in setting up ferry services that can convey both people and cargo even up to the East, because a lot of people still move their cargo by road from Lagos to East and we have the advantage of the River Niger that can help us deliver up to expectation in the delivery of goods and people. The Minister of Transportation really need to look into what is going on, the issue of River Niger dredging contract, and make sure that is completed. The Minister also need to look at how to bring in experts and technocrats to the transport and shipping industry and see how we can inter-relate and connect all these modes of transport such that there will be ease for people to move and say oh! I want to go to Ibadan and I have the rail option, I have the water way option and then, I choose which ever one is more effective for me whether I need to be there on time, I choose road or the one that is more cost effective, then, I choose rail. People should also have such options whereby, it will also increase the standard of living and industrializations in different cities where these transport solutions are. What is your take on the issue of Abuja and Lagos International Airports concession? I think it is a welcome development because, the two airports mentioned above are the busiest International Airports in Nigeria and for us to effectively achieve the standard that we may want to achieve as it regards the movement of people and cargo, then, we need to seek foreign investors, we need to bring in foreign technologies, we need to bring in foreign experts that will help provide the finances that will take this airports to the next level. How do you compare your company with that of your competitors? I believe that the market is very big and we are not here to knock off the other ones. Apart from being a shipping company, we also provide solutions and advices to our customers. For example, why do you need to transport cashew nuts to Vietnam, why do you want to go by the sea and we will advise you on the best shipping line to use and we will also advise on the terminal to use because we have done our own research and we know which of the terminals is cheaper, we know which of the shipping line is better and cost effective. At that, we are rendering you consultancy solutions, and no other freight and logistics company can do this for you. We do this and it’s not included in your bill of transaction. We also do documentation for our customers without them going through the stress of documentation. All you need do is to fill our form with your confirmation number. And this is our unique selling point which others don’t have. What is your message to Nigerians? My message is to encourage everyone out there, to look out for each other to see how we can contribute our own quarter to the betterment of the economy. I also encourage them to do things more in environmentally friendly manner and the idea is to make sure that our society and our environment is safe for the practice of the business of transport. What else can Bolify Africa do? As I speak with you, Bolify Africa is into home and office relocation and home management. We are also into vending partnership; we are also into warehousing, a massive one that can serve as you wish. What is your hobby sir? My hobbies are lawn tennis and swimming. Are you a member of any club? Yes! I am a member of Rotary Club of Ikoyi. What is your favorite food? Beans with plantain.]]>

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