NIMASA Tackles Falana, SAN, Over Allegations of Buying Properties in Uk; Oyetola Replaces Tunji-Ojo As Minister Of Marine And Blue Economy  

By Stephen Ubanna,

 The battle line appears to have been drawn between Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safey Agency, NIMASA, under the close watch of Bashir Jamoh, OFR.

Appearing on Channels Television recently, the legal luminary, who has continuously  beamed his search light on government agencies and parastatals to expose the rot in system had accused NIMASA, which Jamoh, over the last three years had succeeded in rebuilding  and blocking all the areas of revenue Leakages that the agency could sustain the monthly   remittance of  revenue into the Federation of Account of  in the last three years of  purchasing three properties in England , the United Kingdom,UK.

Falana: SAN, Accuses NIMASA, Of Buying Three properties In UK

The SAN, was said to have queried why the Jamoh led NIMASA could invest in such mind- boggling properties alleging that ‘’it was just to take out the North American Continent of the United States dollars’’ to foreign countries.  Let us run this country in the interest of our people he had said.

He noted that Nigeria is not a poor country but lamented that ‘’the government, both past and present, had been managed in such a way that poverty is in ascendency’’.  The allegations against NIMASA, had come on the heels of the appointment of the 41 year-old Olubumi Tunji-Ojo,the Ondo state born politician as the minister of the newly created ministry of Marine and Blue Economy and who has been replaced by Gboyega Oyetola, the immediate past governor of Osun state by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Tunji-Ojo, the former minister of the newly created ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, may not have done what Falana, would have expected him to do    to probe the allegations against the maritime regulatory agency   as he was redeployed to the ministry of Interior.  The President, in the minor cabinet reshuffle was said to have also redeployed Saidu Alkali to the ministry of Transportation to replace the former Osun state governor as the minister of Transportation.

Until Tinubu, made the ministerial changes to put a square peg on a round hole, the NIMASA, leadership may not have allowed Falana’s allegations to go unchallenged in the people’s court by telling Nigerians their own side of the story. The agency may not have had anything to worry about Falana’s allegations as Jamoh, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, who oversees the day- to- day running of the agency, according informed sources   runs an ‘’open- door policy and has nothing to hide’’, had remarked.

Acting on the instruction of the Management team, Osagie Edward, an Assistant Director and spokesperson of the agency had faulted Falana’s allegations stressing that ‘’there is no truth in it’’.He was emphatic: We wish to state that there is no truth in the allegations, as NIMASA, did not acquire any property in England as alleged by Falana, the revered Lawyer.

The NIMASA, spokesperson may have seen the Lagos based Lawyer’s allegations as an opportunity to tell the agency’s own side of the story had confirmed that ‘’the agency have not acquired property in any foreign country over the last 30 years’’, wondering where the revered Lawyer may have gotten the information.

Hear him:   While we respect the views of the learned silk on public matters, NIMASA demands that he takes responsibility and retract this  false claims. Given that there is no element of truth in the allegations may have informed why Edward, the NIMASA, image maker, who may have spoken the mind of the agency’s CEO, had cautioned other members of the public and critics ‘’ to always verify their facts  before going public  with any information’’.

 Edward may have shot the revered Lagos based SAN, on the leg, when he urged Nigerians ‘’to disregard the statement by Falana that the agency had purchased three properties in England under the Jamoh’s administration. Nigerians are watching to see the next line of action that may be taken by the SAN or whether he would want engage NIMASA, in a war of words that may draw the attention of Oyetola, the new minister of Marine and Blue Economy to resolve.

Many believe that the former Osun state governor may not want anything to rock the boat as not much about the marine and blue economy and therefore needed to work closely with the technocrats under the ministry to succeed.

They noted that he needed to draw closer the likes of Jamoh, described as a workaholic in the nation’s maritime circles and who has an idea of what the marine and blue economy is all about, ‘’the sustainable use of ocean resources’’ that could lead to the country’s economic growth.

Gboyega Oyetola: Minister Of Marine & Blue Economy

  The Blue Economic activities, which Oyetola, the minister of the newly created ministry to oversee the nation’s maritime industry may be confronted with in which he needed the collaborations of the NIMASA boss and Mohammed Bello Koko, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, to succeed includes maritime shipping, fishing and aquaculture, coastal tourism, renewable energy development, water desalination, undersea cabling and seabed extractive industries.  This is in addition to deep sea mining, marine genetic resources and biotechnology, among others.

 Maritime analysts had said that Oyetola, the minister of Marine and Blue Economy may not want to be distracted from the Presidential mandate given to him to see how Nigeria can tap into the ocean resources and benefit from it like other nations than to distracted with unverified allegations that could take the ministry and the country nowhere but lead waste of funds.

 Indeed, the recent statement by the NIMASA helmsman that’’ there are new opportunities around us in the nation’ marine and blue economy’’ speaks volume. He was said to have  further declared that  ‘’efficient management and sustainable exploitation of the resources in Nigerian water ways ,seas and oceans will provide a veritable tool for the country’s economic growth.

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