By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr Dakuku Peterside has been removed by President Muhammadu Buhari and replaced with his Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Dr. Bashir Jamoh.
Ministerial sources confirmed to DAILY TREND NEWS that the embattled NIMASA DG is already packing his bags.
Though Peterside himself was a member of the House of Representatives between 2011 and 2015, an experience which ordinarily should have paved way for a good relationship between NIMASA and the lawmakers, rather, the DG has been on warparth with the House of Representatives.
Though this is not the first time he was failing to appear before the lawmakers whenever he was summoned, but the last straw that broke the camels back happened in February 2020 when the agency faced probe by the House of Representatives for allegedly failing to audit its account for six years.
The NIMASA DG failed to appear before the committee twice.
On the second invite, it was the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemi Saraki that had to lead the NIMASA team to the panel hearing while the NIMASA DG was missing in action.
Our correspondent gathered that this arrogance and flagrant disregard did not go down well with Saraki, herself being a former Senator, haven served as senate and House of Representatives member before becoming a Minister.
Earlier in December 2019, the Senate reportedly threatened to issue an arrest warrant against Peterside over his refusal to honour an invitation of the Joint Committee on Navy, Maritime and Finance, to answer questions about the activities of a private security company and some government security agencies accused of collecting illegal fees for securing vessels at the Safe Anchorage Area.
On Tuesday, Peterside again incurred the wrath of the National Assembly by failing to appear personally in response to summons by the joint committee investigating activities of foreign vessel owners in Nigeria.
Those who went to represent NIMASA were sent out of the chamber.
NIMASA explained later in a terse statement signed by its Head, Corporate Communications, Isichei Osamgbi, that Peterside had been unable to honour the summons because he was hosting members of the House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, who came on an oversight visit to the agency which could at best be described as a ‘social visit’ compared to the one at Abuja.
It was gathered that Peterside, probably already aware of his impending removal from office, even failed to show up or even honor the visiting lawmakers who took a tour of the newly acquired special mission boats by NIMASA.
The lawmakers led by Hon Linda Ikpeazu were furious, so much so that they refused to disembark from their bus on arriving at NIMASA headquarters. Again Peterside failed to come down to receive them. It was Dr. Bashir Jamoh that was said to have come down to receive the lawmakers.
Dakuku’s first term tenure as NIMASA DG ends on 10th of March, 2020.
Though President Buhari is yet to make a formal announcement on appointment of a new DG, the president is expected to also name a new management team for NIMASA within the week.
Some industry stakeholders who spoke with DAILY TREND NEWS have however commended President Buhari’s decision to remove Dakuku Peterside. The stakeholders argued that the NIMASA DG have not been able to achieve success in implementation of the Cabotage law or creation of jobs for Nigerian seafarers.
Meanwhile, Bashir Jamoh, the new NIMASA DG hails from Kaduna, is also the current president of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria.
The 56-year-old holds a PhD from the University of Port Harcourt, specialising in logistics and transport management.
Jamoh joined NIMASA in 2003 as an assistant chief commercial officer, eastern and central zones.
He served with the Kaduna state government before transferring his services to the then National Maritime Authority in 1994.
He also holds a master’s degree in management from Korea Maritime and Ocean University, a post-graduate diploma in management sciences from Bayero University, Kano and a diploma in accounting from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Jamoh is also said to have 32 years of professional experience in the transportation and maritime sector.
He is the author of the book, Harnessing Nigeria’s Maritime Assets: Past, Present and Future.