By Stephen Ubanna
More facts have emerged why Senator Danjuma Goje, a former governor of Gombe state and Chairman Senate Committee on Marine Transport is impressed with Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, over his outstanding performance that hat has taken the nation’s maritime industry to greater height.
This is because of his drive in ‘‘achieving zero attacks on any vessel on the Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea as well as the effective implementation of the Deep Blue Project and pursuance of the Blue Economy over the last two years that he has been at the helms of affairs in the agency .
The Senate Marine Transport Committee Chairman, may have used the opportunity provided by Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, led Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, to induct the NIMASA, Director General as a fellow of the Institute, to express Jamoh’s ‘‘sterling performance as the Chief Executive Officer , CEO, of NIMASA’’, amidst applause.
He was said to have spoken his mind during the introduction ceremony of the NIMASA’s CEO as a fellow of the Institute describing him as ‘‘a patriotic Nigerian dedicated to the economic development of the country through the maritime sector’’.
The former governor of Gombe state, who could not hide his feelings had specifically mentioned the role the NIMASA helmsman is laying in leading the country’s push ‘‘towards realizing the Blue economy as well as the agency- driven Deep Blue Project in reducing maritime crimes and sea robbery in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea’’.
Indeed, the establishment of the Deep blue sea project may have informed why the Buhari Administration had awarded a $195 million contract to HLS systems and technologies Limited, an Israeli security firm, in 2017, to supply 17 Interception Boats , 16 armoured vehicles ,specially built to take care of the Creeks in the coastal states, two Special mission vessels, two special mission aircrafts, for surveillance operations around the Nigerian Exclusive Economic zone, EEZ, Three Helicopters and four unmanned Aerial vehicles.
The maritime security items were said to have been delivered to the agency, which had spurred it into action between 2020 and now. Industry stakeholders believe that the Navy platform ,on which the agency have 17 Interception boats, 16 armoured vehicles and two special mission vesels which have the capacity to stay on the high sea for almost three days without refueling are making life miserable for the pirates and sea robbers.
An elated Senator Goje had said that having worked closely with Jamoh as Chairman of the Senate CCommittee supervising the maritime regulatory agency over the last two years, he can attest ‘‘ to the strong work ethic of Jamoh and his dedication to serving the Nigerian maritime industry’’.
Hear him: I can confidently say that having amassed 32 years of service in the nation’s maritime industry , Jamoh has proven himself to be a true Nigerian dedicated to the unity and economic growth of the country.
He further stated ‘‘ I know that he loves the maritime industry’’, giving instances when he could have pursued other endeavours but chose’ ‘to remain involved in the industry’’ to ensure that Nigerians as a whole benefit from it. ‘‘I know Nigerians has benefitted from that decision’’, he remarked.
It was not surprising why Senator Goje led Committee on marine Transport had allowed the N60 billion presented by Jamoh to the Senate as its total expenditure for the 2023 Fiscal year to receive unanimous approval when he appeared before the Committee to defend the 2023 budget estimates for the agency.
In inducting Jamoh, DG, NIMASA, as a fellow of the NIIA, Prof. Osaghae, disclosed that ‘‘it was unanimously approved by the Governing Board of the Institute based on his achievements as NIMASA, CEO’’.
The NIIA Director General had said that they have followed with ‘‘keen interest his performance in office in NIMASA, over the last two years of being at the helms of affairs of the agency’’. He disclosed that they had noticed ‘‘a gradual and acceptance of Nigerian maritime industry in the international community.’’. He was said to have corroborated Senator Goje’s earlier remarks about the reduction of criminal activities in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea which he had attributed to the ‘‘international Collaboration midwifed by NIMASA, under the Leadership of Jamoh and acknowledged globally’’.
He further state that the recent visit of Kitack Lim, the Intrnational Maritime Organistation, IMO, Secretary General, to Nigeria, bear eloquent testimony to the fact that Nigeria is on ‘‘the right track of becoming one of the formidable global maritime nations. ‘’We hope that being a fellowship of the Institute will encourage him to serve Nigeria more’’. He had said.
In his apparent response,to the NIIA Fellowship investiture, Jamoh, who was recently conferred with the Officer of the Federal Republic, OFR, Award by President Muhammadu for his outstanding performance, disclosed that he has dedicated the NIIA award ‘‘to every stakeholder in the nation’s maritime sector for the enormous support he has received from everyone over the last two years’’, noting that without them, he wouldn’t have been able to get much done in office. He was said to have vowed ‘‘to continue to do his best towards the promotion of the nation’s maritime sector’’ to attain international standard.
He was said to have also used the opportunity provided by the NIIA induction ceremony, ‘’to thank every industry stakeholder in the Nigerian maritime sector for the support and backing they have provided him and the agency ‘’, noting that without it the current management team of the agency could not have ‘‘achieved that much’’.
He may have used the Opportunity of being conferred with the NIIA Fellowship in Lagos, ‘‘to assure the Institute that being inducted as a fellow will spur him on to do more for the development and economic growth of the nation’’. He may have gladdened the heart of Prof. Osaghae, the Institute irector General, when he promised ‘‘to be a good ambassador ’’.