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NIMASA handover comments: Is it that Jamoh didn’t see what FG saw or cover up?

Barely one week after the official ouster of the Rivers State-born politician, Dr Dakuku Peterside at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the takeover of Kaduna State-born maritime technocrat, Dr Bashir Jamoh, it is important to take strategic look at the remarks made by the Director General, Dr Jamoh at handover.

Recall that before his removal from office, there had been serious speculations that he may not meet conditions set by President Muhammadu Buhari for his second term as NIMASA boss even though another conspiracy theory pointed accusing fingers to ‘fulanisation’ of Maritime agencies.

Faced with these two opposite theories and looking deeply into the remarks made by the new DG of NIMASA, industry experts seemed to have become even more confused and queried if Dr Jamoh would describe Dr Peterside as a reformer, why was it very hard for the presidency to see all his reforms at the agency and still removed him unceremoniously?

Speaking shortly after the handover ceremony where all the directors and other top members of the executive management were in attendance, Dr. Jamoh extolled the leadership qualities of Peterside and pledged to continue with the reform programmes initiated by the outgoing executive management, which he was also part of.

In an emotion-laden speech, Jamoh, who has spent over twenty-five years at the agency and risen to the position of an Assistant Director before his appointment as Executive Director and now Director General, disclosed that his predecessor Dr. Dakuku demonstrated more passion, energy and zeal than the over ten CEOs of the agency he has withnessed.

Jamoh described the out-going Director General as a visionary leader, strategist, teacher and team player, noting that in the last four years Dakuku instituted various reforms and new ways of doing things at the agency, especially his knowledge transfer scheme, which has boosted the capacity of young professionals in the agency to handle tough and challenging task.

In his words, “It is a very difficult task for me to say goodbye to a former boss, who had been a mentor, a teacher and a friend. But such is life, and I believe that it is not an accident and so God has designed it that way. We thank God that Peterside had successful four-year tenure, many other past CEOs of the agency were not that lucky. But with will continue in the footsteps that he has left behind in terms of the reforms and policy director that will take the nation’s maritime industry

Business Hilights recalls that three new Executive Directors were also appointed by President Mohammadu Buhari, comprising Chudi Ofodile in charge of Finance and Administration, Victor Ochei for Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services and Shehu Ahmed for Operations to replace the out gone Jamoh, Gambo Ahmed and Rotimi Fashaki as well as the appointment of a new Chairman of the Governing Board of the agency, Okorie Azita, who replaces Gen. Jonathan Garba rtd.

Three new Executive Directors were also appointed by President Mohammadu Buhari, comprising Chudi Ofodile in charge of Finance and Administration, Victor Ochei for Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services and Shehu Ahmed for Operations to replace the outgone Jamoh, Gambo Ahmed and Rotimi Fashaki as well as the appointment of a new Chairman of the Governing Board of the agency, Okorie Asita, who replaces Gen. Jonathan Garba rtd.

Speaking during a courtesy visit to the new DG at the Agency’s headquarters in Lagos, an oil and gas, and shipping expert, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, commended the President for listening to the cry of the industry by appointing a technocrat to lead the foremost maritime regulatory agency in the country.

“Stakeholders are happy because Dr. Jamoh is somebody who has been in the industry for ages and together with the pedigree of his team we are sure NIMASA would do well to move the industry forward and we have to appreciate President Mahammadu Buhari for giving us this strong team,” Iheanacho stated.

He urged the new management to focus on the Agency’s core functions, particularly in the area of safety and sea worthiness of vessels, while taking seriously the issues of maritime labour and promotion of indigenous shipping to help grow the nation’s maritime industry.

Speaking in the same vein, in his message to the Jamoh led management team, the MD/CEO of Starz Marine, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, praised the appointment of Jamoh, saying he has the experience and expertise to steer the affairs of the Agency successfully.

“As an experienced bureaucrat and industry expert with a grounded knowledge of the maritime sector through practical experience and field knowledge, we believe that your appointment is not only a personal honor but an opportunity for you to apply these attributes in leading NIMASA to the next level. “We’re happy that your appointment is surely a case of a round peg in a round hole”, Ogbeifun said.

While responding to the stakeholders, Jamoh said he was committed to ensuring that the Nigerian maritime sector gained its rightful place in the comity of successful maritime nations. He assured of the unwavering zeal of the new executive management to ensure that the Agency focused on innovative and stakeholder-driven policies.

“We know without the support of stakeholders there is little or nothing we can do. So we urge you to cooperate with us because we are willing and ready to return the Nigeria maritime sector to the place it belongs among the leading maritime communities in the world,” Jamoh assured.