Ministry sets up panel to probe NIMASA over projects, others

NIMASAA COMMITTEE has been raised by the Federal Ministry of Transport to carry out verification of all projects being executed by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The committee, which has members drawn from the Ministries of Transport and Works and the General Services Unit of NIMASA, is expected to carry out an evaluation of all projects currently being executed by NIMASA with a view to ascertaining their percentage completion in relation to funds already released.

Speaking on the constitution of the committee, the Acting Director-General of NIMASA, Haruna Baba Jauro, said the evaluation has become necessary given the limited resources available to the agency, which according to him, requires the prioritisation of projects’ execution so as to avoid the situation where projects are “being abandoned”.

He said the agency needed to set its priorities right as far as projects’ execution is concerned “by strategically executing projects even in a phased manner so as to avoid a situation where projects that should have been very beneficial to the development of the maritime industry are abandoned due to poor planning.”

A press statement issued by the agency’s Head of Public Relations, Hajia Lami Tumaka, said that Jauro, “who lauded the wisdom of the Transport Ministry, including officers from the Ministries of Transport and Works, said the development is to make sure that the necessary experts are involved in the process with a view to providing a report that will reflect the correct state of the projects.”

According to her, the committee, which has two weeks to conclude its assignment and report to the ministry, is expected to visit the project sites of the Nigeria Maritime University, NIMASA Shipyard and Dockyard, NIMASA Science and Technical College and permanent sites of the six Institutes of Maritime Studies in six Nigerian Universities, among others.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on June 21, 2015 sacked the former Director-General, Partick Akpobolokemi. No explanation was given for the sack.

Akpobolokemi on July 6 handed over to the agency’s Executive Director in charge of Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Calistus Obi, a development, which was later reversed by the ministry, citing ‘procedural error’.

According to the ministry, Jauro is the most qualified for the position being the most senior member of staff after the exit of Akpobolokemi.

Until his appointment, Jauro was the Executive Director, Finance and Administration in the agency.

It was not clear as at press time if the probe of the agency is based on any petition.

Workers of the ministry had before the sack of Akpobolokemi forwarded a petition to the ministry alleging illegal recruitments and promotions.

The petition, put together by “Concerned Staff” of NIMASA, alleged that some senior members of staff were allegedly employed illegally and assigned positions beyond their qualifications.

Copies of the petition, according to the workers, have been sent to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Head of Civil Services of the Federation, Chairman, Civil Service Commission, Chairman, Federal Character Commission, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transport (FMOT), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Productivity, among others.

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