Uneasy calm at NIMASA over replacement of Peterside as DG
By Our Correspondent
There was uneasy calm at the 4 Burma Road, Apapa, Lagos, headquarters of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA over the reported sack of the Director General of the agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside and subsequent replacement with the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Dr. Bashir Jamoh.
There have been speculations that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the removal of Peterside as the Director-General whose tenure ends officially on March 10, 2020, having been appointed in 2016.
It is also believed that Buhari has approved the appointment of Jamoh to replace him, but was waiting for the expiration of Peterside’s tenure in the next few days to make it public.
Checks at the agency Thursday, showed that the normal hustle and bustle that characterise activities at the agency were completely absent today, as members of staff and other stakeholders were waiting for an official communication from the Federal Government.
It was further gathered that both the DG and the ED were conspicuously absent from office, Thursday, a development that also gave rise to low level of activities at the agency since both of them constitute the administrative live wire of the agency both in terms of policy formulation and implementation.
As at the time our correspondent visited the headquarters, many of the staffers of the agency were seen discussing the incident in groups in obvious anticipation of what the final outcome would be.
Investigations show that comments attributed to the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, in which he was quoted as saying that he was not aware of the appointment of Jamoh as the new DG also helped to compound issues for the staffers.
The Minister had Thursday morning said he was not aware of the appointment of Jamoh to replace Peterside as the DG of the agency.
Amaechi who spoke on live TV programme said that, as the Minister of Transport, he ought to know if Dakuku was removed or not by the President.
While acknowledging that Petersides tenure will soon end, the Minister argued that even if it is not going to be renewed, the idea of bringing in another person to replace should wait until expiration of the tenure.
“I am not aware of that. The president has the right to remove him or replace him if he will not renew his appointment. But if his appointment is not going to be renewed it should wait until it expires”, the Minister had argued.
Amaechi said he spoke to Peterside the previous day in the evening when he was having a board meeting and nothing of such came up.
“But if it is a sack as you said, If am still the Minister of Transport, I am the one who will inform him of his removal,” the Minister also stated.
Jamoh, 56, hails from Kaduna State, is the current President of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria CiOTA, having been elected February last year.
He holds a PhD from the University of Port Harcourt, specialising in Logistics and Transport Management and a master’s degree in Management from Korea Maritime and Ocean University, a post-graduate diploma in Management Sciences from Bayero University, Kano and a diploma in Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
He is believed to have put in up to 30 years of professional experience in the maritime transport industry and he is the author of the book “Harnessing Nigeria’s Maritime Assets: Past, Present, and Future.”