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NIMASA: Staff alleges awards of contract to Rivers APC Chairman without due process

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Some staff of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have vowed to fight the impunity being exhibited by the Director-General of the agency, Dakuku Peterside for awarding a maritime security contract to the Chairman of the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Davies Akanya, “without due process”.


“I think Dakuku is missing the point. He needs to ask the former Director-General Patrick Akpobolokemi who ran this place as his personal fiefdom. He is now paying the price. We exposed him fully to the Nigerian public, which led to his removal.


“If Dakuku thinks NIMASA is a national cake that has to be shared to his people in Rivers State, he is making a big mistake. He will not get away with any misdeed.


“We will also not allow him and his master, Rotimi Amaechi to use a professional agency like NIMASA to pursue their personal political goals,” an Assistant Director in the agency who does not want his identity disclosed, told journalists.


Peterside was exposed weekend for terminating a maritime security contract awarded to former militant, Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, and awarded same to Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state, Davies Akanya.


Tompolo’s Global West Vessel Specialists Nigeria Limited (GWVSNL) got the contract in 2011, which is about debt recovery and surveillance, under the former administration.


NIMASA under Peterside, gave the maritime security contract to Snecou Nigeria Limited, a company owned by Akanya, without giving others the opportunity to bid for it, in violation of Nigeria’s due process and Procurement Act.


Dakuku Peterside is a defeated governosrship candidate of APC in Rivers State, having lost the 2015 gubernatorial election to incumbent Governor Nyesom Wike.


Shortly after losing the election, he was appointed as NIMASA DG, without possessing the requisite qualification for the job as stipulated by the NIMASA Act of 2007. Many view his appointment as “compensation”.


The certificate for the controversial contract award has reportedly been given to Akanya despite reports that his company does not have the competence to do the job.


Under the contract, Akanya’s company would get between 10 and 15 per cent of money “recovered” for NIMASA, which is estimated at over $5billion per annum.


The company is expected to provide platforms for waterways monitoring and enforcement; engage in revenue services enhancement and debt reconciliation and recovery services for NIMASA.


In addition to getting up to 15% commission of the money it “recovers”, the company will also be paid a minimum of N4.8 million monthly by NIMASA as engagement fees and other allowances for two years contract, commencing from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2018.


In 2011, sacked Director-General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, who is an ally of Tompolo, had awarded a 10-year maritime security contract to GWVSNL.


As part of the contract, GWVESNL was expected to provide platforms to be used by the Nigerian navy and other security operatives to patrol the waterways, but in July 2015, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari terminated it.


NIMASA staff played a key role in the termination of the GWVSNL contract, Akpobolokemi’s removal from office and his prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


“We sent series of petitions to the Presidency. We had whistle-blowers within the system and we refused to keep quite even in the face of intimidation until Akpobolokemi was removed ad brought to justice. We assure you we will do the same with Dakuku Peterside if he tows the same path,” the NIMASA source said.


Credit: Ships and Ports


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