Controversy Trails NIMASA's Nepotic Appointment Allegation

Controversy Trails NIMASA's Nepotic Appointment Allegation

By Joyce Mmereole Okoli

Controversy is currently trailing the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)'s alleged nepotic appointment.
The NIMASA management has been accused of allegedly favouring a particular section of the country in the appointment into strategic position of the agency.
Recall that the allegation stated that some staff of NIMASA had disclosed that since 2020, the Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, had consistently appointed only northerners to head most of the key positions in the agency.

Citing several instances chief among which is leadership of the most stategic positions of the agency which include the four cardinal zones and the agency's office at the country's capital situated in Abuja. 

Part of the story read: "The NIMASA Western Zone is headed by Kabir Munai from Katsina State. The Central Zone in Warri is headed by one Bappa M. Musa from Borno State. The Eastern Zone is headed by Yusuf Barde from Katsina State while the Northern Zone is headed by Waibe Auta from Plateau State. The NIMASA Abuja Office is also headed by a northerner named Musa Zalani Attah from Adamawa State.

"One of the Port Service Controllers (PSC) in all the zones are northerners. They are Sani Zaria for Apapa and Abubakar Jiga for Ibeju Lekki, both under the Western Zone.

“The Port Service Controllers in the Eastern Zone are Nuhu Umar for Port Harcourt, Mohammed Ibrahim for Onne and Ibrahim Umar for Calabar while the Head of the Central Zone, Dappa M. Musa from Borno State, also acts as its Port Service Controller covering Oghara, Sapele, Burutu and Forcados. Only one out of the existing seven PSCs of the agency, Chizoba Anyika (Tin Can Island Port) is a southerner.”

However, in a rebuttal, the Assistant Director, Public Relations, Mr. Osagie Edward, described the story as subjective, smirking of mischief, skewed to achieve the goals of the fabricator and meant to mislead Nigerians.

The response by the image maker who went ahead to declare the leadership spread at NIMASA has raised a lot of dust as stakeholders speaking on grounds of anonymity have raised questions following the allegation across the maritime industry.

Part of Edward's statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to a publication in an online medium with allegations of nepotism against the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) under the leadership of Dr Bashir Jamoh. I wish to state categorically that this publication is subjective, smirking of mischief, skewed to achieve the goals of the fabricator and meant to mislead Nigerians.

“It is worthy of note that the agency’s approved organogram has nine directorates and 11 autonomous units. At present, NIMASA has 12 directors with all but one of them promoted under Jamoh’s administration. The breakdown shows that five are from South-South, three from South-West, two from South-East and one each from North-East and North-West.

"We wish to put on record that the two directors promoted this year were both from southern Nigeria. This implies that the ratio of the agency’s director from south to north is 10:2, representing over 83 percent southern directors, as against less than 17 percent northern directors.

“The directors of Marine Environment Management Department, Special Duties, Data Management Services, Deep Blue and Secretary General of Abuja MoU are all from the South-South geopolitical zone. The South-West has directors of Internal Audit, SERVICOM, and Maritime Labour Services Western Zone, while the Directors of Cabotage and Planning and Research Departments are from the South-East. The North-East and North-West have one director each, heading the Western Zonal Region and the Reform Coordination Unit respectively.

“It is imperative to note that competent professionals from southern Nigeria are heading seven out of the eleven autonomous units of the agency including the agency’s spokesperson who is from South-South geopolitical zone.”

The  Founder of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, Mr Lucky Amiwero, while speaking on the incident has said that nepotism in any agency cannot make a country to have national unity,  

"Nepotism has been existing for a very long time around the maritime industry. It is benig practiced as well among all tribes. This cannot make a country have national unity. It is not only in NIMASA, it is everywhere. 

"It is not only in NIMASA. You have them in customs and others. It  has been one sided just for the north. If you check in the whole system you find out that it is only one tribe that has the majority", he said.

The failure of the statement to address the allegations that only one out of the existing seven Port Service Controllers (PSC) of the agency is a southerner and that the leadership of the four most strategic zones of the agency are northerners have opened up a leeway to authenticating the veracity of the allegations raised with controversies begging for answers.

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