By Stephen Ubanna
When Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state, appeared on TVC, and was confronted with the report making the rounds that that Dakuku Peterside, the Director General, National Maritime Administation and Safety Agency , NIMASA, had be replaced by Bashir Jamoh, Executive Director,Finance and Administration, he shrugged his feet that his not possible.
He had boasted that if he is still the minister of Transportation, he should be the one that should announce the appointment. He got wrong. This is because a decision has been taken and concluded on the matter without his knowledge that Peterside should go for a career officer who understands the industry to take over and rebuild.
Aware that he will be the loser if he decides to kick against the appointment he was forced to cave in. He knew that since Peterside who was at his becks and call had been dropped, he needed to court the friendship of the new NIMASA boss in order to have his way in the agency instead of leaving the sector completely in the hand Gbemisola Gbemisola Saraki , the minister of State overseeing it
.It was not surprising that when the issue of the inauguration of the Board of the agency at the ministry Head office at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, was slated for Friday, March 20, 2020,, he did hesitate to give his words to Saraki, the minister of State to perform the function.
Even before Amaechi agreed to perform the inauguration of the new NIMASA Board, information had filtered out that he had filtered out that the minister and the minister have agreed inaugurate the Board members who had been approved by the President to enable settle down for work. The minister may have seen it as an opportunity to fall back to reckoning in the nation’s maritime sector.
Jamoh, the NIMASA Director General, were said to have arrived Abuja ahead of the Friday, slated for the inauguration. The Value News learnt that as 9 am, the NIMASA and Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Board members , had arrived the ministry premises and were ushered into the Board room in readiness for the inauguration. T It was a happy moment as the minister and the Board members exchanged pleasantries. The minister had charged the Board members of the two agencies of the ministry to go and do their work .
Prior to the inauguration of the NIMASA Board , Jamoh had already started exercising his powers as the Director General of the agency. He had met with the staff on the Management cadre and other senior Staff to acquaint them of the direction of the agency for the next four years. He did not hesitate in telling them to expect some changes in the Organisation to avoid being caught unawares.
Barely one week after the meeting with the Directors and other senior Staff, he had redeployed Victor Ike Onuzuruike, a former Director , Audit, to the Director General’s office as Director Special Duties. Onuruike replaced Rita U
ruakpa, who was appointed by PeteRside , the former Director General to replace Lami Tumaka, who had retired from the agency.Maritime watchers had hailed the appointment of Onuzuruike as the Director Special Duties because of his wealth experience in the Industery. Funny enough , he may not stay too long in the office as he was said to have started his pre-retirement training both within and outside the country.
Insiders told the Value News that he would retire in the next four months in the agency. Many believe that the new NIMASA, Director General , may have wanted him to stay close to him because of the close working relation over the last three years when he was the Executive Director, Finance and Administration.
He may have observed that Uruakpa, would be better used in the agency as the Director of Cabotage, that he did not hesitate in deploying her to the Department. She is expected to work closely with the Executive Director , Cabotage and Human Resource Management to ensure proper disbursement of the over N72 billion, Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, CVFF.
Note that that Peteride, the agency former Director had lost out in his efforts to regain his position because of his inability to realize President Muhammadu Buhari desires to the indigenous shipping Companies as the fulcrum of national development as a way to increase the maritime’s industry contribution to employment generation and Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
It is not surprising why Jamoh had deployed the former Director Special Duties to Cabotage Department to ensure meaningful management of the indigenous shipping Companies in to create jobs for the hundreds of the country’s unemployed Seafarers. He has every reason to pay attention to the Cabotage Department because of the government interest in it.
He may have set the stage for the good things that would come in the Industry in the next couple of years as he was said to directed the employment of some 20 -30 new Staff in the Cabotage Department.
The posting was said to have also affected Hajia Musa Aishatu Jumai, and Ogadi Anthony. Hajia Jumai, who was Director, Administration and Human Resources was said to have been deployed to SERVICOM while Anthony who was Director, Shipping Development was moved to Head Research and Data Management.
Others are Mr. Odusanya .O.A., who was said to have have been moved from Head Financial services to Head, Internal Audit, while Blaji Kehinde Bernice was transferred as Head , Protocol to Deputy Director, Servicom. The mass transfere that was said to have been carried out by the new NIMASA Management Team was said to have touched Kurahson B.Inuwa, Coordinator, NMRDC, at the Kirikiri office. He was deployed to the agency Head office at No. 4, Burma Road, as Head Shipping Development while Hamman Mary ,was said to have swerved position as Assistant Director , Shipping Development to Assistant Director Cabotage.
The only lucky person in this first phase of redeployment exercise was Abyss Olayemi Adegboyega, Director, Western Zone, who was said to have retained his position. Many believe that Jamoh could make the changes ithin a space of one week because he has observed the affected Staff over the last three years and knew where they could be better used in the Organisation to achieve result.
The affected Staff in the redeployment exercise were said to have been directed to prepare their handover note which must be ready on or before Monday, March 23, 2020, in order to relocate to their new office.
Insiders told The Value News that second phase of the redeployment exercise would be more holistic as almost all the Deputy and Assistant Directors would be affected. The era of Director General’s favoured Staff to be kept in a particular Department, according to a source is over. This is because of the believe of the new NIMASA Director General that to attain the rank of a Head of Department, an Assistant Director, Deputy or Director , the Staff should be made to move round all the Department to know more about the mandate of the agency and how to go about.’’ It is the new Revolution in NIMASA’’, a ship owner had said. The changes , particular, in the shipping and Cabotage Department may not be too good for most officials of the indigenous and foreign shipping who had penetrated these Departments in the past to flout the nation’s shipping policies without being punished.