By Stephen Ubanna
After about two months of lull in activities in the nation’s maritime sector due to the absence of Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, who had ventured into the murky waters of Nigerian politics to pursue his governorship ambition in Kaduna state, the situation appeared to have changed for better.
This is because he has withdrawn his resignation Letter from the office of Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation to return back to his office amidst jubilation. Informed sources told The Value News that is office was turned to Mecca by both staff and the Management Team members who had come to welcome the poster boy back to office. Most of the staff stopped short at saying ‘’we missed you. We are happy that you are back to give us direction’’ because of your passion for the maritime industry.
Until he ventured into the murky waters of Nigerian politics, Vanguard Newspapers, a publication of Vanguard Media Limited had bestowed on him the public sector ICON, the Maritime award which was said to have put him shoulders high above his contemporaries in the nation’s maritime industry.
. The NIMASA Director General , who could not hide his feelings on his return to complete his second tern term in office which was said to have started on March 10, 2022, had described the Public Sector Maritime Icon Award as a challenge ‘’to selflessly work harder in the interest of Nigeria and humanity’’. While commending the Vanguard Media Limited, for finding for finding him worthy of the maritime Icon award, sees the recognition beyond an honour, but a call ‘’to increase his level of service’’ to the nation. Pirates who may have sent a message to the maritime Authorities last April when they boarded 61,300 dwt bulker the Arch Gabriel, registered in the Marshal Islands.
The AIS DATA of the vessel shows that it departed Houston in the North American country of the United States in id-February, 2022, and was likely waiting for the next contract before it was laid off West African coast in March 2022. The Pirates were said to have been onboard he vessel for approximately four hours and attempted to access the citadel but Dryad pointed out that the vessel was more than 110 nautical miles outside the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone, EEZ. The return of maritime Icon to his office may sent a message to the pirates that it is no longer going to be business as usual.
The International Maritime Bureau, IMB, in its recent report had disclosed that piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, which had in recent times become the global epicentre for sea piracy, fell to the lowest since second quarter of 2019 after the Jamoh started enforcing the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also known as the Deep Blue Project.
According to him, whatever may have attracted the Vanguard Newspapers award Committee to give him ‘’the accolades and honour have spurred into action to sustain the modernization of the nation’s maritime sector and substain the agency anti-piracy operations’’. The Maritime ICON has made it clear to those that cares’’ to listen ‘’NIMASA under his leadership will be improved upon to make Vanguard Newspapers and indeed, all Nigerians, proud’’
The NIMASA Chief Executive Officer, CEO, noted that ‘’the good works of NIMASA which has manifested in inter agency and international collaboration against piracy and other maritime offences resulting in an all- time reduction in vessel and crew attacks will be redoubled’’.
An Appreciative Jamoh had thanked members of the Maritime Regulatory Agency board, Executive Management Team and all staff of the agency for their contributions to the success stories the nation’s foremost maritime administration has been associated with over the last three years.
He was said to have assured the staff that in the months to come, ‘’the agency in the performance of its statutory responsibilities would scale up its activities to achieve more for investors, professionals and all stakeholders in the nation’s maritime industry’’The Staff may have seen it as a ‘’call for more work, more tasks, and more sustainable success’’. ‘’We have so many things in place, and God willing, within the coming months, we have to double up our efforts to justify this award’’, he had said.
“It is a challenge, and whatever we did before that impressed the selection committee, now we have to double our efforts.’’ For me, I don’t see the award as just an award in name, but as a challenge.”The essence of leadership wherever you go is to make a difference to the people and the society, so if your position of leadership cannot change dimensions, then the essence of leadership is far from being achieved
The Vanguard Newspaper may have recognised our efforts because there are some impacts and changes, but there are so many areas in which we need to do more, which we must be able to do in the coming months. So we need to double our efforts” he said shortly after receiving his award plaque and certificate
Recall that notable maritime stakeholders who had witnessesed the ceremony had agreed that the NIMASA DG has worked hard within a short period to justify the honour.Prominent shipowner, Mrs. Margaret Orakwusi, described Jamoh as a NIMASA DG who came with three decades of experience in the sector and sound maritime academic background which he has deployed to productive benefits for the Nigerian maritime sector.
Other stakeholders who identified with and commended Jamoh for the honour include Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority; two former Directors General of NIMASA- Ade Dosunmu and Dr Dakuku Peterside; Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung, President Nigerian Shipowners Association; Emmanuel Maiguwa, President Alumni Association of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria,AMANO, and Comrade Adewale Adeyanju President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria,(MWUN.
Since assumption of office, Jamoh has won several awards including the 2020 Zik Prize in Public Policy.
Professor Pat Utomi, Chairman, Selection Committee, Zik Prize 2020, had said that the capacity of Jamoh to have extensively managed the restructuring, reformation and repositioning of NIMASA earned him the prestigious award.
Prof Utomi further stated that “the Deep Blue Project and the Blue Economy initiatives which Jamoh has championed have brought massive gains to the Agency and the nation’s economic diversification goals.”