NIMASA: No going back on restructuring, Nigerian govt needs money – Transport Minister
Minister of Transportation Chuibuike Rotimi Amaechi has said that the federal government is repositioning the Nigeria Maritime and Security Agency (NIMASA) so as to bring about effective performance in the agency.
Amaechi disclosed this on Monday in Abuja when he received the Ministerial Committee on NIMASA for Restructuring and Effective Performance led by its Director General, Dr Dakuku Peterside. Amaechi also explained that when repositioned, NIMASA would generate more income for government and improve on quality service delivery. “Let me thank the Committee, it’s almost two months since you were inaugurated. Let me also thank those of you in the private sector, for those of you who took your time, your energy, I must thank you in the manner that would show the appreciation of the Federal Government and the Ministery of Transportation for accepting to serve. One of the reasons why I set up the committee was my visit to NIMASA. I asked a question, what does NIMASA do? They had what they call “Search and Rescue Centre,” they also had what they call “Search and Rescue Clinic”. “If you go there, even when I asked the lady doctor who was there, I said do you work here.
She said yes, and I asked again, do you like this place? She said no. Now, all the billions we hear, may be its right, may be its wrong, that’s what I need to know when the auditor goes round. We are in the process of appointing an auditor to audit NIMASA, NPA…May be when the auditor goes round and comes back, the responsibility of the matter will be clearer”. “If you go to their office near kirikiri, that’s worse. It was actually as if you are in kirikiri itself. They had a resource centre and there was nothing there, they had a poor library and I said to myself what is NIMASA actually all about? So the essence of setting up this committee was to actually know what NIMASA was all about. It is not to witch- hunt anybody. We should ask ourselves the question, has NIMASA at any point in time discharged its responsibility beyond collection of revenue? And all those revenue that NIMASA has collected where are they? What did they do with the revenue?”
“We need to ask all these questions .So the essence of setting up this committee is to see how we can reposition NIMASA to perform its responsibility to the benefit of Nigerians. And if you are raising revenue and collecting revenue we need to ensure that beyond using the money according to the approved budget, the remaining fund should be discharged and sent back to the federal government, but we don’t see that. Thank God that a change government has been put in place. There has to be a change in NIMASA. The change shouldn’t be only in the ministry of transportation it should also be in NIMASA”. “The way things are in NIMASA is such that people don’t even go to work. Ordinarily, my usual reaction was to go and implement the report but I want to study it myself to know what actually NIMASA is all about, then I can call a management meeting of the Ministry of Transportation so we can take a decision so that the Director General of NIMASA will go and implement”, he said.
Earlier, Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, said, “Sir, on the 17th of may you inaugurated a committee to draw a frame work for the restructuring and reform of Nigeria’s Maritime Regulator in NIMASA. The committee was inaugurated in acknowledgment of the fact that NIMASA was not operating optimally, efficient and effective manner and that there was urgent need to restructure NIMASA if our dream of making Nigeria the hub of maritime industry in West Africa must be realized”. “Immediately after the inauguration of the committee we went to work and in the subsequent one or two months we had a total of 18 meetings .Aside from the fact that we had 18 meetings we dug up the libraries, looked at several studies that had been conducted in NIMASA, we did a comparative analysis of maritime administration across the globe.
In Singapore, in Malasia, in Motal, in Liberia and in several other maritime administration. We had discussions with those who work in NIMASA, we also had series of engagement with stakeholders. After this diligent work we came to the conclusion that in your humble determination to bring about change in NIMASA, a few necessary changes must be made, those changes are inevitable”. “We will just give you a few highlight of the report. The Committee you inaugurated sub- divided ourselves into three focus areas. First is governance structure for NIMASA, the other one is the issue of image and perception, the third one is the core functions of NIMASA viz a viz manpower and staffing inadequacies”.