The myths of invincibility and system’s leadership performance assurance have been broken and at last, the Shakespeare’s Birnam Wood is coming to Dunsinane Hill in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as pain turns to anger and sweet revenge.
The Shakespeare’s play Macbeth is remarkably the story of temptation, power, fall and retribution etched most explicitly in Christian and Islamic flavor of prophesies, clairvoyance and realism of tragedies, and indeed, considered as the greatest of Shakespeare’s tragedies.
Macbeth, the protagonist, is told that he cannot be killed by any man born of woman in a vision relayed prophetically by the Weird Sisters, three witches. He gets the solid assurance that he is safe on his throne and cannot be defeated until Birnam Wood moves to Dunsinane Hill. Act 4, Scene 1. Macbeth believes the witches’ delusionary apparitions, but soon learns that Macduff, his antagonist, is a product of “Untimely ripped”-meaning that he was born of caesarian section. Macduff and his army comes through Birnam Wood, each soldier cuts a large branch to hide himself, such that when the army moves on it looks as if the wood is moving. The two fights and Macduff slays Macbeth. This scenario is playing out now in NIMASA with an imminent overthrow of a sitting king. So, as the prophesy of the witches come to pass in Macbeth so is demystification taking place in NIMASA.
Dr. Bashir Jamoh, Director General of NIMASA assumed duty on March 10,2020 as the 6th DG since the transformation of the defunct National Maritime Authority(NMA) into NIMASA as the apex maritime regulatory agency in Nigeria. His coming was not only controversial but theatric yet entertaining. He was a candidate of the then cabal in the presidency who has lost some steam as a result of ‘divine’ intervention. He was also touted to have robust root in President Mohammadu Buhari and his young In-Law ‘Tunde,’ a powerful personal aide to Buhari. The reality of his rise to top from within positioned him ahead of other competing candidates then when Dr. Dakuku Peterside lost the struggle to secure a second term of office as DG, NIMASA.
But the celebration has since ended. Those he outsmarted are staging a comeback. The Birnam Wood Hill is moving to stop Dr. Jamoh’s season of “Sling And Arrows” His touted invincibility rooted in Buhari and power brokers is vanishing like a mourning dew in ten months of leadership. Powers have slightly shifted again from the base, ahead of 2023. The shock however is the demystification of the belief that an “industry groomed agency headship” will be performance- oriented and seamlessly transformative.
The last ten months have been punctuated by ceremonies and the drive for one form of performance endorsement and another from the National Assembly members to one association and another seeking one favor.
Stakeholders expected NIMASA of today-an insider leadership- to pursue with vigour the enthronement of indigenous ship ownership, capacity building or national fleet development regime as the heart of maritime administration realizing the economic disequilibrium against Nigeria in the international cargo and freight market.
Ironically, NIMASA today has more employees ever than before in history but the workforce can be likened to a raid of army ants with motion without results. Some departments have more hands than needed yet administration is sapped and stagnated. It takes an average of three months to treat one memo, that is, if it does not get missing on transit, in an era of digitization and electronic operation. The bigger irony is that the bureaucracy gets worse with more hands employed into the system as too many names litter one letter from within for contact yet reaching the contacts numbers is more difficult than accessing an American Visa.
The current leadership is equally romanticizing security and safety with so much noise without action as the security situation in the gulf of guinea worsens by the day.
Among the tripod of administration, safety and security which are considered the statutory focus of NIMASA,none has gained administrative or nautical traction in the last ten months.
These are some of the factors already listed as Jamoh’s faux pas by the men who have patiently waited to take their pound of flesh. There are mileages NIMASA cannot attempt under this management because the Birnam Wood must move. And it has begun as the prevailing security report is saggy and political consideration in sacrifice and leadership switch are Golding.
More to follow… soon.