* To unfold maritime niche master plan
* No promotion without vacancy
* Floating dockyard to raise N2bn annually
Following the termination of Government Epkemupolo aka Tompolo’s contract, over 20 vessels in the inventory of Global West were alleged to have been taken over by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), however the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has revealed that the vessels have been seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as a result of ongoing investigations, thereby negating Cabotage enforcement.
Dr. Dakuku Peterside was speaking during an exclusive chat with MMS Plus last week.
Dr. Dakuku said that the absence of platforms to do the enforcement was the major impediment to Cabotage enforcement, adding that although the platforms are in the custody of the Nigerian Navy pending the conclusion of EFCC investigations, the vessels were still NIMASA assets.
“The most important thing affecting Cabotage enforcement is not capacity of personnel but the absence of platforms to do the enforcement. The platforms were seized by the EFCC and they are in the custody of the Nigerian Navy. These are NIMASA assets but they are under investigation so they were seized by the EFCC and handed over to the Navy, pending the conclusion of investigations” Dakuku said.
Few weeks ago, workers had complained about the absence of platforms for security enforcement and monitoring and Dakuku, after a meeting with members of Marine Environment Management (MEM) department of the agency, had assured them that in two weeks a contract for the provision of enforcement and monitoring platforms would be given out to provide the facilities.
Meanwhile, the NIMASA DG also revealed the agency’s plan to come up with a clear roadmap on how to create a niche for itself in the global maritime industry.
Dakuku said that the agency was looking at making Nigeria the transshipment hub in the West and Central Africa. He also noted that NIMASA was exploring the possibility of doing a ship recycling base in Nigeria.
“We are working on a number of initiatives and very soon we would come out with a clear roadmap on how to create a niche for ourselves in the global maritime industry. There are a number of things. If you look at the whole of Africa, we don’t have a transshipment hub and Nigeria can be the transshipment hub. The other thing is the oil and gas hub for the maritime industry or some sort of logistics hub for Africa.” Dakuku stated.
He also noted that Nigeria is endowed with smart people and as such, “the same way the Philippines and Chinese export sea men, having the highest number of seafarers globally, Nigeria can also be known for having the highest number of seafarers in Africa if we put our acts together”
Responding to the ongoing tussle for promotion at NIMASA where over 200 persons are sitting for promotion interviews when there is only 46 positions available for Assistant Director cadre and most of these persons sitting for promotion interview are currently on the cadre of Chief, the NIMASA DG emphasized that there would be no promotion when there are no vacancies.
Dakuku said, “There is no dilemma. The law says promote people based on openings. The NIMASA condition of service and the Federal Civil Service conditions are clear on the issue. If what you are saying is correct, after the interview, the top 46 persons would be taken to fill the available positions.
According to Dr. Dakuku, NIMASA is set to deliver what will be Africa’s fifth largest modular floating dockyard in 2017 and the project is expected to fetch over N2billion naira annually.
“When we went to Netherlands, I discovered that the minimum life-span of a floating dock is 100years. The one we went to was built in 1903, others in 1914 and 1923. None of them was less than 100years yet they are still working fine, generating a lot of money and none of them is below 120meters by 23meters.
“It is something that has a very long life-span and if we make this investment the numbers show that we could generate as much as N2billion yearly and in 10years we can recoup the capital and begin to enjoy the benefits” Dakuku said.
He asserted that NIMASA the floating dockyard would support the case of financial sustainability for both the agency and the dockyard, even as he was impressed that it had a long life-span.