By Stephen Ubanna
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and Bashir Jamoh, the agency Director General, have never had it so good over the last three years. This is because its performance and achievements have not been appreciated for recognition by the Leadership of the Bureau of Public Sector Reform, BPSR, which is an extension of the Presidency for the yearly awards.
In this Gov-Tech Public Service Awards, the Bureau of Public Services Reform, BPSR was said to have honoured the maritime regulatory agency and Jamoh, described as Mr. Projects, in maritime circles, and whose agency, Director General who has never failed in utilizing the money appropriated to it by the National Assembly judiciously in providing infrastructural architecture and pursuing the execution of the agency Digitalisation of its operations, the first agency to do so in the nations’ maritime industry.
The NIMASA, Director General, from the onset of the Administration in 2020, had had made it clear to stakeholders that that the automation of the agency processes for enhanced effective delivery of its services and total transformation of the nation’s maritime sector for the economic befit of Nigeria in general.
The agency had Launched the first Commercial satellite, Sternula -1, in Aalborg, Denmark, through international collaboration. The International Maritime Organisation, IMO, a United Nations, UN, maritime agency, was said to have set the requirements for the e-Navigation strategy implementation plan while the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities, IALA, had developed the technical solutions such as the AIS, as part of the measures ‘’to ease and promote digital communication in the global maritime sector’’.
In pursuing the digitalization of its operations, he had made it clear to those that cares to cue in that ‘’it will lead’’ to faster access to information, improved Customer experience, increased productivity, lower the costs of shipping globally, improved decision making, improved information security, higher mobility and automation, improved global business processes amongst others’’.
Jamoh, the NIMASA, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, who could not hide feelings had said that ‘’Digitization is the foundation of Smart seaports and Digital Twins, technological tools and solutions that can transform real-time data into accurate and more precise business decisions’’ by rendering port operations extremely effective as it interconnects all sectors of the maritime supply chain’’.
Note that the maritime regulatory agency under the Leadership Jamoh had equall started the total digital manifest management regime for all vessels calling at the nation’s seaports of Apapa, Tincan Island, Port Terminal Multi-services Ltd, PTML, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal, KLT, phases Iand II, Federal Ocean Lighter Terminal, Onne and Rivers port, PortHarcourt, including, Delta port, Warri, and Calabar port, in 2022 and which has been completed.
According to him, in line with the government ‘s Executive Order on the Ese of Ding Business at the nation’s seaports, he had said that with the digitalization of its operations had succeeded ‘’in improving the turnaround time of vessels , reduction of human interface in majority of its transactions with stakeholders which had guarantees the much expected transparency and professionalism that the nation’s maritime sector require to grow.
There is no gain saying the fact that the agency digitalization of its operations have also ensured that the process of submitting and processing manifests has reduced from 72 hours to a mere five hours duration and less, for very large Crude Carriers and Larger Container vessels . The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, under the close watch of Mohammed Bello-Koko, a one-banker had set 2025, for the digitalisation of the Authority Operations.
While The Senate Committee on Marine Transport under the Chairmanship of Senator Wasiu Sanni Eshinlokun, are had gladdened the heart of Jamoh and his management Team that the amendment of the agency 16 year-old Act which had passed the first reading on the floor of the Upper Chamber, would be approved and would go to the President for his accent to become t a working document, the BPSR, appears to have doubled the agency’s cause for celebrations with the two awards extended to it. The BPSR first award was to have be issued to the agency for its Performance and achievements in the Digitalization of its operations while the second ward went Jamoh, the Kaduna state born technocrat and NIMASA CEO, for his exemplary Leadership.
Dasuki Arabi, Director General, BPSR, was emphatic when he disclosed that Jamoh , the NIMASA, CEO, had been honoured because of’’ his exemplary Leadership in the digitalisation of the agency operations’’. Arabi, the BPSR, helmsman had said that the adoption of the ICT in rendering services to citizens by the agency is in line with the Federal Government policy.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who had taken over from the former Katsina state born Nigerian President on May 29, 2023, had maintained that Information Communication Technology, ICT, is the way forward in delivering services by all government ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs.
Osagie Edward, an Assistant Director and NIMASA spokesperson, had said that the BPSR, which had been evaluating the operations of the MDAs, over the years to put them on their toes through giving of awards, consists of ‘’deliberate changes to the structures and processes of public sector Organisations with the objective of getting them to run efficiently’’.
This year’s BPSR awards were said to have been given to NIMASA, University of Benin Teaching Hospital and the Edo state Government and two Indiduals amongst others.
One of the individual recipients was, Jamoh, the current CEO, of NIMASA, who was decorated with ‘’’the distinguished Trailblazers award’’. An elated Jamoh, had said that neither the agency under his Leadership nor him had ‘’set out to win any award from BPRS’’, stressing that they were occupied in implementing their core mandate which includes maritime security, maritime safety and shipment as well as digital transformation of the agency as obtained in maritime Administrations in other parts of the world including the United Kingdom, UK, and the North American country of the United States, US.
This may have informed why he had said: I am most delighted at the fact that other people are watching every step we take at NIMASA, that they they could use what they have seen on ground to judge the agency performance and achievements. May have alluded to the BPSR, which had given NIMASA and himself awards to appreciate their work. Jamoh, who is never short of words to speak at any given opportunity, had ‘’ dedicated the BPSR award to Team NIMASA and the entire stakeholders in the nation’s maritime sector’’.
He may have sent a message to other government agencies that in NIMASA, both the staff and the Management work as one house as he had led the NMASA Management Team to the BPSR Nigeria Gov-Tech Public Service awards Presentation ceremony at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Arabi, the BPSR, Director General may have gladdened the heart of members the NIMASA Management Team when he singled out Jamoh for special recognition over his exceptional performance and achievements in NIMASA over the last three years. ‘’I want to congratulate the Leadership of the NIMASA, making reference to Jamoh, for the good work he is doing in the agency’’ urging him ‘’to do more. He may have sent a message to the NIMASA CEO and his Management Team that ‘’to whom much is given much is expected of him’’.
The NIMASA boss may have read the lips of the BPSR Director General that he had given his word, ‘’ We will not relent in our quest to completely digitalise the operations of the agency with professionalism at the core of the reforms’’.
Another individual award that was said to have been out by the Arabi led BPSR, person was that of Chukwuma Soludo, a professor and former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria a, CBN and now governor of Anambra state.
Taking a cue from Jamoh, the NIMASA, Director General, the Anambra state governor, had inaugurated the temporary site of the Solution Innovation Distric , SID, to heralded the state software development programme, code named ‘’Code Anambra’’.The governor who had described the SID, as a technological innovation since the establishment of the state had said that’’ it will provide the people access to cosy work space, steady power supply and free Wi- Fi in one place . He had said that the technological revolution which is geared up to provide the needed enablers for the ecosystem to thrive in the state. is aimed at’’ empowering the people of the state with the advanced in-demand skills and opportunities in the global- tech industry’’.
According to him, ‘’ Code Anambra’’, which is designed to equip the state’s talented tech enthusiasts with the knowledge, expertise and practical skills in various software development areas, including product design, frontend development, Backend development, Full stack development and Mobile App
Development has not failed the government.
Given that the ‘’Code Anambra’’ is open to both indigenes and students who possess certain level of proficiency in using computers, the former CBN governor is optimistic that ‘’it would enhance their technical skills and thus embark on a promising career path within the nation’s thriving software development industry’’.
Unknown to the governor who thinks that software development project is only limited to the state may have been shocked that the BPSR, has put the SID under its barometer and found the technological innovation to have benefited most indigenes of the state including the youths.