The race for the position of the substantive Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has taken another shape with the Acting Director General, Mr. Haruna Jauro lobbying the Presidency with N2 billion for confirmation.
From the political circle, names are bandied about but MMS Plus gathered that President Mohammadu Buhari and his Vice-President Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo are disposed to having a maritime technocrat or an insider manage NIMASA.
While the profile of the should be director-general and the mandates have been reeled out, maritime industry stakeholders have equally made prescriptions for the restructuring of NIMASA for efficiency.
Meanwhile, some NIMASA members of staff have written off Jauro for possible confirmation because he “lacks the capacity and leadership wherewithal to run NIMASA.”
Possible names from which the next director-general will emerge have been profiled.
According to the source in NIMASA, Jauro has been asked to lodge in N2 billion into the Federation Account by some of the lobbyists to impress Buhari as a condition for his confirmation.
Meanwhile, in the words of a NIMASA management staff, who re-echoed the thinking of many of the workers, by a simple random survey “He (Jauro) is empty. He cannot run NIMASA. He is an obsolete misfit! He is not competent to be a principal officer in that agency.
“The agency needs someone who has a sense of history of the organization and in a position to relate the past with the present, implements policies and programmes that would enhance the capacity of indigenous shipping companies to increase their tonnages and create jobs. The measure of a successful director-general of NIMASA would be judged against the percentage increase of shipping tonnage by the time his or her tenure ends.”
In their prescription for success, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho, the Chairman of the Integrated Oil and Gas Limited and former Minister of Interior, said NIMASA should refocus itself to its core brief of indigenous capacity building.
Mrs. Chinwe Ezenwa, former Acting Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority(NIWA) and a onetime board member of NIMASA has this to say: “NIMASA needs a fearless administrator that will be given a political will to clean up the place.The biggest problem of virtually all the past and present director-generals of NIMASA is administration. Most of the things that sent some of the past director-generals packing is poor administrative ability.
“For Buhari to succeed in NIMASA, he must have a good administrator because a good administrator will call a spade a spade. Personnel administration is zero in NIMASA. NIMASA has since derailed from its focus.
“it does not matter whether the person is from the east, south-south , north or west, the person needs to be an administrator. They said it is administration, safety and security agency, they need to find out which of these jobs should be given back to the Nigerian Navy and which part of the job will be given to the port state control. You leave this for NIMASA. NIMASA now needs a capable administrator who will reduce the cost of running the place. Initially, it was doing the right thing but along the line it derailed,” she emphasized.
Some of the candidates, whose names have made impression on Buhari and his team include, former Director-General of NIMASA, Barr, Temi Omatseye, Mrs Mfon Usoro, Engr. Kenneth Amauche , an investment banker who worked with Infrastructure Bank (urban Development Bank); Mr. Danjuma Dabo, former Executive Director, Finance and Administration, NIMASA under Dr. Ade Dosumu’s leadership; Capt. Romanus Onyeche, who works with Mobil Unlimited Escravose; Mr. William Azuh, a maritime expert and NIMASA staff who is on secondment to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
One of the commentators had told MMS Plus, “Nobody has the kind of knowledge Temisan has on how to restructure NIMASA but he ran into murky waters there.”
Usoro left NIMASA as the pioneer female director-general with workers welfare and capacity building as key success factors. However, she was scored low in administration following the disharmony between her and the then Minister of State for Transport. The rift arose because she was called a reformist.
Engr. Kenneth Amauche left Urban Development Bank as a Senior Management staff to contest for the seat of Enugu State governorship in 2007 and since then he has remained a consultant. He will bring his wealth of investment banking to bear in NIMASA.
Capt. Romanus Onyeche is a first class master mariner who is versed in maritime management with international exposure in maritime activities.
Mr. Dabo , who is today an All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain was in NIMASA as Executive Director and not entirely new to maritime administration.
But William Azuh, who is the Head, African (Anglophone) Section, Technical Cooperation Division of IMO is being touted as the man who could muster the administrative temerity and political will to restructure NIMASA.
His current responsibilities in IMO entails building human and institutional maritime capacities for African countries, including Nigeria. During his tenure as Nigeria’s Alternate Permanent Representative to IMO, he was instrumental to Nigeria’s two consecutive elections into the 40 member Executive Council of IMO. And since he ceased to hold the position, Nigeria has not been able to be re-elected into the IMO council. Azuh was a Director and overseas representative of NIMASA in 2007.
MMS Plus gathered that the personality of the next NIMASA director-general must be such that will add values and that upon appointment, the person would be mandated to right-size the management staff of the agency from the position of Assistant Directors to the Director grade levels.
The presidency, it was learnt, gathered that these grade levels mentioned are the most corrupt in the system and they are the reason the director-generals assigned to the agency are often corrupt.