02 July 2016, Lagos — The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has disclosed that the Agency is broke and lacks funds to run its affairs.
Peterside who stated this on Wednesday during a media parley with journalists in Lagos disclosed that the agency is running on a tight budget presently.
He explained that the agency is not funded by the federal government though it still pays 25 percent of its revenue into the Treasury Single Account, TSA, as mandated by the government.
According to him, “We used to get three per cent earnings on vessels that come into the country but with the level of imports that has dropped, that has become impossible. Nevertheless, we are staying afloat and would remain indigenous.
“In my own perception and not the Agency’s, NIMASA is currently over-staffed right now but nevertheless, we are not going to lay off workers. All these, other outflows plus the ingenuity of the workers make it difficult to even pay salaries.”
The NIMASA boss said it is regrettable that he got in at a period when the economy of the world is almost in recession and there is a downturn of the economy globally.
Speaking further, he stated that; “Due to all these, the volume of trade, in terms of imports and exports has been affected. All this would definitely have an effect on the Agency and what it stands for.
He said the agency has done very well but still has a lot to achieve and is set to undergo various strategic reforms.
Peterside added: “The Agency is going through a restructuring, reformation and reposition process which is our main focus at the moment. NIMASA is presently dealing with the bad reputation and a lot of corruption notions which we are trying to get rid of.
“Currently, we have done very well but we want to take it to the next level, we want to do our job in such a way that would enhance the effectiveness and efficiency. We have to put a lot of things in place to ensure that we meet the minimal International Maritime organisation, IMO, obligation that is required of us as a Maritime administration.” He said.
He also disclosed that the agency is undergoing a medium-term growth plan which is already in progress and would end in December 2018.
*Nosa Alekhuogie – Thisday