By Stephen Ubanna
In spite of the allegations of nepotism against the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency , NMASA, under the Leadership of Bashir Jamoh, by Ships and Ports, a specialized publication in the nation’s maritime Industry, appears to have forced Osagie Edward, an Assistant Director, and the agency spokesperson, at the instance of the Management to respond and put the records straight for Nigerians to know better.
Edward, who could not hide his feelings had stopped short of describing the publication as the handwork of mischief makers going by his statement which was said to have gone viral in the last 72 hours. The NIMASA, spokesperson was said to have stated categorically that ‘’the publication was subjective , smirking mischief, skewed to achieve the goals of the fabricator and meant to mislead the public’’.
Given an insider information of the organogram of the agency , Edward had said that the agency governing Board has approved nine directorates and 11 autonomous units , for its operations, noting that the composition of the Management team since , Jamoh, a career officer and professional to the core, mounted the saddle on March 10, 2020,and now were 12 Directors .
Giving the names of the Directors with from the south –south, home region of former President Goodluck Jonathan, he disclosed that they were Isichei Osamgbi, External Relations&Technical duties, placed under the office of the Director General, Engr. Chris Amakulo, Enr. Data Management Services, Otonye Obom, Deep Blue , Captain Sunday Umorem, Secretary General, Abuja, Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, and Heaky Dimowo, Director Marine Environment.
Edward, who has the Mandate of the Director General to speak on the Organogram of the agency had said that ‘’there are only three Directors, from the south west, home region of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and President and Commander –In-Chief of Federal Republic of Nigeria while two of two from the south eastern geopolitical region.
He was said too have given the names of the Directors from the two southern Nigerian regions and their portfolios as Mrs. Olamide Odusanya, Internal Audit, Kehinde Bolaji , Servicom and Mrs. Olubusola Akande-Obasanjo, daughter of Olusegun Obasanjo, a former Nigerian President, who is the Director , Cabotage services, .
The two Directors from the south eastern regon , according to Edward, were Mrs. Nancy Oluoha, Head of Prtocol, Mrs and Rita Uruakpa, who was said to have recently represented the Director General at the Oil and Gas Fair, NOGF, organised by the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board,NCDMB, under the close watch of Engr. Simbi Waboote , in Yenogoa, Capital of Bayelsa state.
At the Fair, Uruakpa, who had spoken the mind of the NIMASA, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, has made a case for change in Nigeria Crude oil terms from Free On Board, FOB, to Cost, Insurance , Freight, CIF, that would give Nigerians more voice in the sale of their oil instead of the buyers having the upper hand and making all the gains. The third person, who was said to have made it to the Director’s list from the region within the over three years of Jamoh’s Leadership of the agency Eric Oji, Director of Planning, Research and Data Management services.
Enough of naming the Directors from the south-south, south west and s the south –eastern geopolitical regions, we turn attention to the north west, north east and north central geopolitical regions. He had said that the north west, home region of former President Muhammadu Buhammadu Buhari, there are only three Deputy Directors, who have made it to the Directors’ list under the current Management team. They are Kabir Murnai, Western zone, Khurason Inuwa, Head Shipping Development s and Danjuma Babah, Head Procurement while Abddullahi Mustapha, is the Director , Financial services. Hajia Aisha Idris, who heads the Legal services Unit of the agency from the north central geopolitical region had passed the promotion examination before getting to that level.
Hajia Aisha Jidda, who is the Director, Reforms Coordination & Strategic Management may be the only person on the Management team of the Jamoh led NIMASA, from the north east, a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar , during Obasanjo’s regime era and who incidentally was the Opposition People D emocratic Party, PDP, home state, because she was able to pass the promotion examination. The message was very clear to all staff of the agency that ’’If you pass your promotion examination, you will never be promoted to the next position.
Indeed, staff of the agency who spoke to The Value News online Magazine on condition of anonymity had exonerated the Director General and other members of the agency Board from having a hand in the selection of the Directors. They noted that there is short cut to agency promotion both at the lower or Management level.
Take for instance, in the 2020, promotion examination of the agency in which 595 staff were approved for promotion by the Asita .O. Asita led governing Board of the agency ‘’after a thorough screening and rigorous exercise’’, had approved nine Deputy Director to the list of Directors of the agency while in the 2023, promotion examination only Engr. Amakulo, an and Mrs. Obasanjo-Akande were aid to have made it to the Directors’ list . Other Deputy Directors who were said to have sat for the promotion examination but could not make it were dropped, irrespective of the region of origin.
It was not surprising why there are more Directors and Heads of Units in the agency from the south region than the north. Edward may have hit the nail on the head when he stated that seven of he promoted Directors from the three geopolitical regions in the south are currently heading seven , out of the 11, autoonus Units of the agency , leaving out four for the northern Directors, believed to be occupying strategic positions in the agency.
Appealing to Media Practioners,’’to always cross check their facts before going to the press’’, Edward, the NIMASA, spokesperson, who is from Edo state, in the south-south geopolitical region, would want Nigerians to know that the agency do not have an established office in Jos, Capital of Plateau state , as alleged by Ships and Ports ,
He has made it clear to those that cares to listen that going by the freedom of Information Bill which was passed by the National Assembly and signed into Law by for former President Jonathan in 2011, the agency has no information to hide and as the is always available to respond to questions concerning the agency at any time.
Even within the entire Public Relations Unit in the agencies under the ministry of Transportation , which include the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, Nigerian Inland Water Ways Authority, NIWA, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, the staff of the NIMASA, Public Relations have been described to be more effective in the discharge of their duties that they could respond to any adverse report about the agency within minutes.