- Amaechi to Rector: “I will remove you, I will sack you”
- Scandals, allegations trail Okpo
- 5 African Countries Make IMO Council
The new Transport Minister, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has swung into action to effect changes in the transport sector, by ordering for a thorough audit of the N13billion expended by the Maritime Academy of Nigeria(MAN), Oron in the last five years, between 2011 and 2015.
Amaechi who was said to have been disenchanted by the serial complaint of deliberate starvation of funds by the Academy’s Rector, Mr. Joshua Okpo following a revelation that MAN had collected N13billion under the watch of Okpo, also threatened to sack the Rector if he fails to account for the money.
In anger, the Minister who has issued official directive in the ministry for probe, has also completed plans to visit the Academy on Tuesday, December 1st,2015 for on the spot assessment of Okpo’s stewardship.
Amaechi was particularly irked by Okpo’s plan to build a shopping mall in the Academy and request to embark on direct infrastructural development of a given sum without the Ministry’s approval, prompting him to ask Okpo in the public what it takes to build a world- class maritime academy, screaming in a fit of fury, “what do you need a mall for in MAN, Oron? I will remove you, I will sack you”.
Subsequently, he directed the management team of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA) present to give him a model of world-class maritime academy as he intends to set a standard with MAN Oron in the next one year as a flagship project under his one year in office.
Earlier Okpo in his briefing with the Minister asserted that NIMASA and the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) were not discharging their statutory financial obligations to the school as required, hence the Academy is perpetually in need of funds to build the needed capacities in the nation’s maritime sector.
The Minister, who accused Okpo openly of feeding him with misleading pieces of information against NIMASA and NPA, said: “Lets go there and see what you have done with N13 billion”
The NIMASA team present in defence told the Minister that the agency had given the sum of N19 billion to the Academy between 2009 and 2015, with N13billion received under the watch of Okpo.
Okpo, who is a director in Federal Ministry of Transport, has been on secondment as MAN Rector, and got confirmed in July 2015 for a second term of four years by President Mohammed Buhari. Okpo’s tenure in MAN has been riddled with forests of allegations and scandals to the extent that the former Transport Minister, Sen. Idris Umar had to set up an internal committee to investigate some. Details of this will come next week.
However, when contacted as usual refused to pick his call as MMS plus gathered that he jetted out of the country for the International Maritime Organisation(IMO) Council meeting in London last week.
Meanwhile five African countries where elected as members of the new International Maritime Organization Council for the 2016-2017 biennium.
The successful African countries were elected as Council members under Category C. They are; Kenya, South Africa, Liberia, Morocco and Egypt.
Nigeria did not participate in the elections but Africa was well represented as Egypt replaced Jamaica in the election which wasn’t devoid of intense lobbying even as maritime observers were soaked in tension and anxiety.
The result of the election into Council under Category C: Singapore – 145 Turkey – 137 Malta – 136 Australia – 132, Cyprus – 132 Peru – 131 Egypt – 130 Kenya – 128 Indonesia – 127 South Africa – 127 Morocco – 126 Denmark – 125 Chile – 126 Bahamas – 124 Belgium 123 Mexico 122, Malaysia – 120, Phillipines – 115 Liberia- 114 Thailand – 112
Lost- Jamaica 110 Saudi Arabia 99 Iran 82
The full list of the members of the IMO Council for the 2016-2017 biennium below;
Category (a) 10 States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services:
China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States.
Category (b) 10 States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade:
Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden.
Category (c) 20 States not elected under (a) or (b) above, which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world:
Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey.
The Council is the executive organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the Organization.