NIMASA: Mobereola In,  Jamoh Out

Between October, 2023 and now, there had been rumours making the rounds that Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Nigerian, Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, would be removed from his exalted office by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who incidentally was a former governor of Lagos state.

The rumour became pronounced when  Nurudeen Oyebamji , was appointed by the Nigerian Pesident on the recommendations of Adegboyega Oyetola, a former governor of Osun state and minister of Marine and Blue Economy , believed to be acting out the script of Tinubu to replace  George Moghalu,  a former Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of  the Nigerian Inland Water Ways Authority, NIWA, and Akutah Pius Ukeyima,  as the   Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council., NSC  last October.

The former Lagos state governor may have sent a signal to Jamoh, the high flying NIMASA , Director General and Mohammedd Bello-Koko, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority , NPA that their days are  numbered .  The appointment of Olalekan Badmus, as Executive Director, Marine and Operations and JubrilAbba, as the agency Executive Director, Maritime Labor and Cabotage Services, two key positions in the agency  last January  may have finally sent out a message to Jamoh that the Tinubu’s Administartion may not accommodate him.

Oyetola: Minister Of Marine & Blue Economy

As a prelude to removing Jamoh and his counterpart in NPA and the two appointed CEOs of NIWA and NS under close watch , oyetola, the minister of Marine and Blue Economy ,  was said to have signed a performance bond with them  which is a joint commitment to turn around the socio –economic fortune  of the ministry.Ismail Omipida, the ministerial spokesperson  had said that initiative  was aimed at  strengthening efficiency , proficiency      and effectiveness for the overall development of the new ministry.

 President Tinubu, who may have lost faith in the old  Management team of NIMASA,  may have spoken his mind  when he told  the newly appointed Executive Directors of NIMASA, to expeditiously  and efficiently help to create  the conditions  required  to significantly  raise  the contribution of  the Marine and Blue Economy sector of the economy to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

Indeed, signs that the NIMASA , CEO, has ran out of favour  with the Tinubu’s Administration emerged when one Jackson Ude, video, which was released in  2021, on the mismanagement of the funds of the maritime regulatory agency by the Kaduna state born  technocrat resurfaced.  Ude had alleged that 1.5 trn and an additional North American country of the United States, US, $ 9 billion   was traced to the former  NIMASA boss personal  accounts.

Until former President Muhammadu Buhari, left office, on May 29, 2023,  he was said to have effectively made good use of the services of  Godwin Emefieme, a the immediate past governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and Jamoh, the NIMASA , helmsman, described in political circles as his favourite political appointees.

The dual were said to have taken advantage of the blank cheque given to them by the former President to run their offices as they deem necessary without recourse to him on any financial issue. This may have informed why Jamoh, the NIMASA boss could have the audacity  to purchase  a N50million  Expression of Interest  and  Nomination Form  for the Kaduna  state governorship on the platform of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, while Emefiele, the former CBN, governor,  spent N100 million  to purchase the party Expression of Interest and Presidential Nomination Form  to contest the APC, Presidential primary against likes of Tinubu, and other political heavy weights  who had picked the form in 2022. The NIMASA  CEO, who was in the good book of then President  Buhari,  had said  that  in January 2023,  that  he could not’’ resist  the call  to serve Kaduna state as the next  governor after the expiration of  the I tenure of the erststwhile governor Nasir El-Rufai.

He may have known that the power brokers in the state would not allow him get the ticket and that he haad perected plans to return to office as the Director General of NIMASA. He had his way. He was said to have taken advantage of his position and closeness to Buhari to make major expenses in the agency without ministerial approval.  This may have informed why Nigerians see Emefiele and Jamoh, as bad advertisement to Buhari’s Administration.

 Ajuri Ngelale, the Presidential spokesperson had said that the performance of Emefiele, the immediate pa CBN governor, for the eight year he had served the Buhari’s Administration clearly shows the high level of impunity in the Administration.  Ngelale had accused the former CBN, governor ‘’of depleting the country’s foreign reserves without Buhari’s approval’’.  He was emphatic that the Delta state born Banker took advantage of his close working relationship with Buhari to take major financial decisions without the approval of the former President.

He had confirmed that Emefiele spent billions of the US dollars, of the country’s foreign reserves, which were not approved by the  Katsina state born Nigerian former President.  He may shocked Nigerians when he revealed that the former CBN governor was in charge of most of the apex bank’s operations, which may have given him the effrontery to make all that expenses without the knowledge of then President Buhari and which he was said to have continued under the Tinubu’s Administration before he was kicked out last July.

 Back to NIMASA, Jamoh, may have had a premonition that President Tinubu, would not renew his appointment for another four year term as former Preside Buhari refused to re-appoint Dakuku Peterside , a one-time Director General of the agency for a second term.

, The immediate NIMASA boss, had developed a Maritime Museum, which he was said to have inspected on Sunday, March 10, 2024, preparatory for the official opening by the Marine and Blue Economy, minister, on Monday, March 11, 2024.

Described as the first of its kind in Nigeria, which is expected to serve the purposes such as ‘’archiving, educating stakeholders and tourism for both local and international tourists’’. Little did he know that it would be his last day of overseeing the affairs of the agency?

Unknown to him, Oyetola, the minister of Marine and Blue Economy, had recommended for his removal and immediate replacement by one Dayo Mobereola, for a renewable term of four years.  On Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at the instance of President Tnubu,  Ngelale, the President’s Media Aide ,  had announced the appointment of Mobereola, as the new Director general of NIMASA.

Given an insider information of the NIMASA new CEO,   he had said that   the former Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, who was said to have previous Administrations of Tinubu,  Babatunde Fashola, a former minister of Works under the Buhari’s Administration and  Akinwunmi Ambode, all former governors of Lagos state , between 2003 and 2015,    

Mobereola: Newly appointed DG, of NIMASA, by President Tinubu

He was said to have also served as he Commissioner of Transportation in the south west state from 2015 to 2015, under the present Administration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Call it recycling of Tinubu’s political loyalties, Mobereola, the newCEO, of NIMASA, who holds a Ph.D and an M.Sc in Transport Economics from the University of Wales, United Kingdom, is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport, England and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport in Nigeria.

He was said to have worked in the private sector in the UK, where he rose to the enviable rank of Deputy Managing Director and Project Development Director at AFM Consulting in London. He was said to have   also worked as a Senior Economist at the British Petroleum Shipping Limited, London.

With the impressive profile, paraded by  Mobereola, President Tinubu,  expects him  to bring  his vast experience to bear in his new role  as the CEO , of NIMASA,  to achieve the mandate of the agency  in providing  world class-leading  standards of maritime safety  Administration, maritime Labour regulation,  marine pollution  prevention  and Control and Search and Rescue  operations.

 Ngelale, the Presidential spokesperson,  had said that the Nigerian President  also expects  Mobereola,  a former Lagos state Commissioner of Transport,   under the incumbent Sanwo-Olu’s Administration  ‘’to improve on the   Cabotage Law   enforcement, shipping  development and ship registration’’, in accordance   with the policies  and programmes  of his  Renewed Hope  Agenda  for the sector  as guided  by  Oyetola, the minister of Marine and Blue Economy.

Jamoh: Dropped As DG, NIMASA

Until he was removed from office last Tuesday, the Kaduna state born Technocrat, and immediate past Director General of NIMASA, had vigorously   pursued a three –point agenda: Maritime Safety, Maritime Security and shipping development. He may have made appreciable impact in the area of Maritime Safety and Maritime Security but failed woefully in the area of indigenous shipping development   because of the delay in disbursing the over $350 million Cabotage Finance Fund, CVFF, by past and present Administrations.

The Fund , was said to have been established by former Presidet Olusegun Obasanjo’s Administration in 2003,  for the purpose  of developing  indigenous  ship acquisition  capacity , to provide financial assistance  to indigenous  /domestic  coastal shipping operators

The Fund, The Value News was informed  is generated from a 2% surcharge from the contract sum performed  by vessels  engaged  in coastal trade,  monies generated from tariff, fines,  and fees from licenses  and waivers  and a sum periodically  approved by  the National Assembly  and interests that accrue  from loans  granted from the Fund to the indigenous shipping companies.

Many believe that Mobereola, will deliver on his mandate , going by his impressive performance as the CEO,of the Lagos  state  Metropolitan  Area Transport Authority , which he was able to turn around that it  could effectively  compete with NIMASA  and even going to the extent  of  taking over some of the Functions of NIWA,    that the  state government was dragged to court by NIWA To cut  its wings.  

Both not for the  Supreme Court ruling that  the Federal Government  has the exclusive control  over activities  on the nation’s  inland waterways  including  levying businesses operating in the  nation’s inland  waterways,  and licensing  operators  in the sector,  the Lagos state City Metropolitan Transport  Authority could still have been struggling with NIWA , over control of the state inland water ways.

Justice Olukaode Ariwoola,  led Supreme Court, may have sealed the hopes of the Lagos state government from  further generating  f revenue from levies and issuing licenses imposed on businesses operating  in the state  inland water ways  as it ruled that ‘’it was wrong for the state governemnt to do so’’.

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