By Stephen Ubanna
When Ibrahim Bio, a former minister of Transportation, under former president Goodluck Jonathan, blamed the Laws setting up the agencies under the ministry of Transportation as the cause in the overlap of their responsibilities , nobody took him serious.
Bio had cited the dredging and removal of ship wrecks from Nigerian waters, which overlaps between Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, but that was how far he could go.
The appointment of Bashir Jamoh, by President Muhammadu Buhari, to replace the retired Dakuku Peterside, the erstwhile Director General, of NIMASA, appears to have injected fresh blood into the ministerial Committee which had had been working on the problem over the last one year.
He was to have begun informal discussions with his Counterparts in NPA, Nigerian Shippers Council and Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority, NIMWA, on how to solve the over overlap function among the agencies.
The fallout of the informal discussions with his Counterparts in other agencies about the overlap function of the agencies was said to have culminated in Hassan Bello, a Lawyer and Executive Secretary of the NSC, hosting a meeting of the Heads of the Parastatals in Lagos. The good news was that Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director of NPA, and George Moghalu, his Counterpart, in NIWA, were the meeting. Also at the meeting was Duja IFEDUA, a rtd Cmmodore and Rector, Maritime Academy, MAN, Oron, Akwa Ibom state.
The all-important meeting was said to have had the backing of Rotimi Amaechi, the minister of Transportation . It was said to have provided opportunity for the Heads of the agencies under the Federal ministry of Transportation to exhaustively discuss the areas of overlap in their responsibilities. Based on their discussion, they were said to have decided on many issues ‘’ that concern national development, modalities for handling the overlap functions and other issues. That much was confirmed by Jamoh, the NIMASA, boss.
Given an insider information about the inaugural meeting of the Heads of the agencies under the ministry of Transportation, Jamoh disclosed that the agreement that were reached ‘’followed the work of a ministerial Committee, stressing that meetings like these are necessary to build a synergy and create the right atmosphere for the overall progress of the Nigerian economy’’. He disclosed that they have been working for over a year now prior to the meeting.
An elated NIMASA helmsman, who could not hide his feelings averred that they held ‘’the inaugural meeting for improved synergy between the agencies and to avoid the overlap in responsibilities’’. With the successful hosting of the meeting at the NSC, Corporate Headquarters at Apapa, Lagos by Bello, the agency Executive Secretary, Jamoh has given a signal that the meeting will hold monthly for the next four months. ‘’We hope to hold the meeting on a monthly basis for the next four months’’, he has said.
He noted that ‘’due to the proximity of the agencies Corporate Headquarters to each other in Lagos, a lot of gains will be achieved in a short while without the official bureaucracy’’. According to him the agencies have now agreed on ‘’who should take what responsibility’’, he had said.
Jamoh, described in maritime cycles as an action man, has told t those that cares to listen tha t’’there was no better time to improve the synergy among agencies under the ministry of Transportation than now when the Wuhan Town in Hebei Province of China emerged coronavirus, popular COVID 19, and the accompanying disruptions on business and the economy have placed great deal of responsibility on the maritime sector as a vital sector of the economy and key medium for the development of essential supplies’’.
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