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How 5% freight levy on ships turned NIMASA to juicy agency for political appointees

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More facts that lead to the recent trend in continuous appointment of politicians that had no industry experience in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have emerged.

This may be the reason why the Ministry of Finance praised the agency as one of the parastatals that comply with early remittances to the federation account even though the essence of the agency by law was not to concentrate on revenue generation, but development of the maritime industry.

However, the development has lead to serious drop in the statutory services for which the federal agency was created which include development of the maritime and shipping sub sector by way of encouraging the growth and consolidation of indigenous industry.

These issues were brought to fore in Lagos during a recent gathering of public relations officers of maritime and allied organizations.

In his lead submission, the Publisher of maritime daily, Ships and Ports, Mr. Bolaji Akinola, argued that the observed collapse of the nation’s shipping industry can easily be linked to loss of focus on the development of indigenous shipping by NIMASA.

According to him, NIMASA was now a money-making agency, as its three per cent freight levy on ships had made it a juicy political appointment without recourse to cognate industry experience.

He regretted the idleness of well over N100 billion in an escrow account at a time indigenous shippers are gnashing their teeth due to paucity of fund to drive their enterprises.

He noted that the inability of the leadership in NIMASA to turnaround the only IMO recognized institution, the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron had lead to the churning out ill-trained and ill-qualified cadets, revealing that no fewer than 6,000 MAN cadets are today, stuck with their National Diploma because they cannot get the required one-year sea-time training to proceed for the Higher National Diploma.