MV Ofure: Shipowners Call For Investigation, Prosecution of NIMASA Management
For allegedly awarding a contract worth N248,850,000 for the dry docking of a thug boat, MV Ofure, Lagos State Coordinator of Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA) Capt Franklin Akinpelumi has called for the prosecution and application of capital sanctions on the management of NIMASA.
Akinpelumi in a chat with DAILY TREND yesterday alleged that NIMASA management under Dr. Dakuku Peterside has taken a deliberate stance not to assist stakeholders with funds to acquire vessels and develop shipping.
He also said there is an indication of a deep rooted roth and plundering of scarce resources by the management of the agency.
News was rife in the media that NIMASA had allegedly awarded the rather questionable contract to Messers Thames Hudson Consulting and Contracting Limited for the dry docking and repair of one of its boats, MV Ofure.
The NISA Coordinator advocated that the Federal Government should stop appointing politicians into the helm of affairs as Director General of NIMASA.
Speaking, Akinpelumi stated that the contract “Potends serious danger to NIMASA as an agency, which had continually, over the years, has the misfortune of having kleptomaniac leaders at the helm of affairs”
“For instance, the stories trending whereby =N=249 million was used to dry dock a search and rescue boat, despite a floating dock procured at a whopping sum of =N=50 billion lying idle for months after NIMASA took delivery, and all these at the expense of the money that belongs to you and me are indication of the deep routed rot and plundering of scarce resources by the management of an Agency that has made deliberate effort not to assist stakeholders with funds to acquire vessels and develop shipping”
“The time is ripe to support and subscribe to a capital punishment for any public officer that partake in fraud, embezzling of public funds or corruptly enrich self. This will surely be one of the solutions to addressing the intractable malaise that has bedeviled the agency for many years”
“We, the stakeholders, must rise up and say No to imposition of politicians or people with no prerequisite competence and capacity to head this highly specialized agency”
The NISA chieftain also said he is in support of the conviction of the ex-NIMASA Acting Director General, Calistus Obi to a seven years jail term, saying that it is well deserved and self inflicted.
He also considered the sentence passed on Obi as a mere slap on his wrist.
He said “As much as I wouldn’t like to appear to be celebrating the misfortune of the Ex-DG, but I think his sentence is not punitive enough to serve as deterrent to a man found guilty and convicted of =N=136 million fraud”
“A jail term as low as seven years (when it could have attracted the maximum jail term of 15 years) with an option to pay =N=42 million fine can at best be described as unfortunate and great embarrassment to our legal jurisprudence”
“Since this will encourage fraud, stealing of our collective patrimony, because people will surely have preference to serve meager jail term that would be imposed and walk away to enjoy the loot”