NIMASA Tackles Unemployment, Maritime Security With Its Skills Acquisition Projects; NIMWA, A Sleeping Giant

By Stephen Ubanna

 More facts have emerged why Bashir Jamoh, OFR, led Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, had set 2022 and 2023, as years of executing people-oriented projects in the six geopolitical regions of Nigeria. NIMASA, according to Jamoh, the agency, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, had embarked on the projects to tackle unemployment and Maritime security both on land and the country water ways.

With the support of Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, an Engr. and the immediate past minister of Transportation, now split into ministries of Transportation and Marine and Blue Economy, by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu with different ministers manning each of the ministries.

  NIMASA, which falls under the newly established ministry which had embarked on the building of the six Skills Acquisition centres and maritime Institutes in the six political regions of the country appears to have been up and doing in the completion of the projects.

. The former minister of Transportation who had described ‘’the projects as targeted at human capacity development ‘’,  had said that it   would serve as centre for the development of  competences  in the nation’s maritime sector where there are numerous opportunities for the  teeming unemployed youths in the country.

Giving an insider information, the NIMASA, CEO, had said that the planned Skills Acquisition centres which are being developed in Niger, home state of Ibrahim Babangida, a retired Army General and former Nigerian military President, , Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre, which has produced the current Nigerian President,  Anambra , Gombe , Bayelsa and Rivers, are being pursued with vigour.

The NIMASA helmsman had asserted that the desire of the agency in embarking on the people-oriented projects  ‘’is to ensure  that young Nigerians  acquire  the necessary skills that would  make them self- reliant  and productively engaged’’.

Unconfirmed reports had it that the maritime regulatory agency had targeted   to address the challenges of job creation of over 60% for the teeming unemployed Nigerian Youths in with the completion of the Skills Acquisition Centres sited in the six geopolitical Zones of the country.  The NIMASA boss may have hit the  nail on the head when he disclosed  that the  projects when completed at the various locations   would have a ‘’multiplier effect  on the security in the country’s maritime domain’’.

  He was emphatic that that ‘’the administration’s vision of embarking on the Skills Acquisition Centres, projects across the six geo-political zones of the country basically to tackle problems of unemployment and with a long -tern goal of enhancing maritime security’’ across the country.

One of the Skills Acquisition centres, which has been completed and commissioned last May by Engr. Sambo, the then Minister of Transponsportation   was said to have been located at Ungwan Juma in Zaria, Katsina, home state of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Angwan Juma project  which  had electrical , mechanical, technical , wielding and sewing facilities  among others  for the training of  women and the Youths may have given an insight to what the other centres would also look like on completion.

True to the agency’s  desire ‘’to have a life-changing impact   on Nigeria’s history’’, may have informed why Jamoh, the maritime workaholic  had given breather to the contractors handling  each of the projects at the various locations  to expedite action  on it. The agency expected to complete the six Skill Acquisistion projections during the administration of the then Katsina stat born Nigerian President but could not achieve the target.

NIMASA Built Apapa Skills Acquisition Centre

 The maritime regulatory agency appears to have used the completion of the centre in Apapa, the home of maritime activities, in Nigeria which has the premier port, Tincan Island port, Port Terminal Multi-services Limited, PTML.` Kiri Lighter Terminal , phases I& II , Lilipond Bonded Terminal, SIFAX and several other private Bonded terminals to invite Adegboyega Oyetola, a former governor of Osun  state and now the minister of Marine and Blue Economy  to perform the commissioning .  

  Although , the Skill Acquisition Centre project had been started  during the administration of Engr. Sambo , but the former Osun state governor  had  commissioned   it as the incumbent minister of Marine and Blue Economy, amidst great applause from the crowd .  

The former Osun state governor, who could not hide his feelings had made it clear  to those that cares to listen that  one of the challenges   of the Blue Economy  is to improve the nation’s maritime sector productivity  and tackle   unemployment decisively’’.

Jamoh: DG, NIMASA, Mr. Projects

An appreciative minister had said that NIMASA, under the Leadership of Jamoh, is actually ‘’empowering   youths  through  the various  Skills Acquisition Centres  across the North western, North eastern, north central, South  easern, south-south and south west geological regions of the country.

The NIMASA, top shot may have taken advantage of the ministerial Commissioning of the Apapa Skills Acquision centre, in Lagos state, to gladden the heart of industry stakeholders and the Youths of the Apapa Community,  when he reiterated   that  the essence of the agency   embarking on the project in the Apapa Area  is ‘’to instil  a sense  of purpose  and self-worth , promoting  local integration  within the maritime host communities  including the port city of Apapa’’.   There is no gain saying the fact that impact of NIMASA  on the Nigerian economy over the last three years is very pronounced .

But one area he may have failed the nation is his refusal to give an insight to the cost implications of the six Skills Acquisition Centres being established across the six   geopolitical regions of the country   Nigerians would want Jamoh, the NIMASA, boss who despite the lean purse of the agency could embark on such people-oriented projects to open up on what it cost the agency to start and complete the projects that had been Commissioned in Kaduna, Katsina and Lagos states.

 Enough of NIMASA under the Leadership of Jamoh. We turn to the Nigerian Inland Water Ways Authority, NIMA, which has George Moghalu, the Anambra state born politician as the Managing Director of Nigerian Inland Water Way Authority, NIWA.  

Many had expected Moghalu, who oversees the affairs NIWA, or whoever may be appointed his replacement after September 29, 2023, when his tenure expires by the Nigerian President to be more serious in the dischage of the functions of the agency described as giant in the nation’s maritime sector. Going by he Law establishing the agency, it has powers ‘’to undertake capital and maintenance dredging of Nigerian waters, hydrological and hydrographic surveys, design ferry routes, survey, remove and receive derelicts, wrecks and other obstructions from the country’s Inland water ways, operate ferry services within the country’s Inland water ways system but yet to wake up . Analysts noted that if NIWA , could rise up to its challenge the frequent water mishaps in different parts of the country would become a thing of the past.

Maritime analysts believe that past and present NIWA , Managing Director would  have been in the League of Jamoh led NIMASA, which had made appreciable impact on the nation’s economy over the last three years  because of its purposeful and focused leadership  if it had been able to execute   its basic  Constitutional assignments which includes  the installation and maintenance of lights, buoys and Navigational aids along the country’s water channels  and banks , issue   and control licenses  for Inland Navigation,  piers, jetties  and dockyards, as well as examine  and Survey  Inland Water Crafts and shipyard operators it would not have been a failed agency.

NPA, may have taken advantage of it inability to bite and full implement its to its other programs such as grant permit and licenses for sand dredging, pipeline construction, dredging of slots and crossing water ways by utility slots and crossing of water ways by utility lines, water intake, rock blasting and removal as expected to take over some of the responsibilities.

The agency was said to have also failed in the area of approving the designs and construction of inland water crafts, approve and control all jetties, dockyards, piers within the coutry’s water ways. Moghalu or the incoming successor , if the President decides to remove him after September 29, 2023, may have to contact to Jamoh, the ever performing NIMASA workaholic to know how he is doing  it to take a cue from him  instead of being a sleeping giant where much of the functions had been taken over by Mohammed  Bello -Koko, led Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA and NIMASA over the years with little or no efforts to take it back.

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