From left: Immediate past Executive Director, Finance and Administration and newly appointed Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, takes over from the outgoing Director General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside in Lagos, Tuesday.

Francis Ezem

History was made in Lagos today at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, as the immediate past Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh takes over the reins of power as Director General in what stakeholders described as the smoothest transition ever in the 33-year history of the agency.

He takes over from his erstwhile boss and immediate past DG of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who was appointed March 10, 2016 for a four-year tenure, which ended today. This sequel to the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari not to renew Peterside’s tenure for another four years and instead approved the appointment of Jamoh as his replacement.

Also appointed were three new executive directors comprising Chudi Ofodile, Finance and Administration, Victor Ochei, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services and Shehu Ahmed, 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 Azita, who replaces Gen. Jonathan Garba rtd.

Speaking shortly after an elaborate handover ceremony in which all the directors and other top members of the executive management were in attendance, 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 and parcel of.

In an emotion-laden speech, Jamoh, who has spent over two and a half decades in the agency, disclosed that he has worked with over 10 CEOs of the agency within this period directly or indirectly, adding that none has demonstrated energy, zeal and passion for the job as much as Peterside, which he believes account for the modest achievements recorded by the outgoing executive management team, which he was part and parcel of.

According to him, the outgoing DG, who he described as a visionary leader, strategist, a teacher and team player, has in the last four years instituted various reforms and new ways of doing things in the agency, especially his knowledge transfer scheme, which has boosted the capacity of young professionals in the agency to handle tough and challenging task.

“It is a very difficult task for me to say good bye 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.

“We also sincerely appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for finding us worthy of this assignment, we will not let him and we will do our best towards growing the maritime industry from where the outgoing executive management left it. Today is not a long speech making day but we will engage the stakeholders at the appropriate time”, he assured.

Meanwhile, the outgoing DG, Peterside, while speaking earlier listed some of the achievements recorded by the executive management under his supervision to include changing the poor global perception of the agency, re-orientating the disillusioned members of staff, automation of the processes of the agency, which was before analogue as well as institutionalising promotion of staffers as a way of boosting their morale, saying that many had been on the same position in the last 15 years.

While thanking President Buhari and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi for their support and belief in him, he noted that he has no regret serving the Nigerian public and if given the opportunity, he would do that over and over again.

A highpoint of the occasion was the pulling out of the former members of the executive management from the agency conducted by the Maritime Guard Command Band.