20 March 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — On March 10, 2016, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Transport appointed Dr Dakuku Peterside as the Director General of Nigerian Maritime administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA. One year after, Kunle Kalejaye takes a closer look at some talking points of the MBA holder in Business Administration in NIMASA.
Stakeholders in the maritime industry believed that since Dr. Peterside came on board, the agency has moved away from negative stories of corruption, inefficiency and bottleneck to its regulatory function. Others argued that the agency can still improve in its regulatory roles in shipping development.
One area of achievement by Peterside led NIMASA administration is the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, also known as Cabotage Act implementation has been given a breath of fresh air, as the new NIMASA management has demonstrated absolute commitment to the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund. CVFF.
The implementation of the Act has open opportunities for the indigenous players who have long been shoved aside by the foreign oil tankers and international oil companies.
Known for his golden touch, Peterside introduced a professional and leadership series to grow capacity of staff, thus developing a new work ethics in the Agency. By this process NIMASA is reforming the work ethics of its staff for better service delivery.
One way excellence was achieved among the agency staff was the promotion of 300 staff. Before the coming of the Dakuku Administration, promotion to Director cadre had stagnated for over a decade. However, the Dakuku led team has broken the jinx and conducted promotion exercise.
Another talking point of the Dakuku led Management is implementing a framework that will see more powers devolved to the zones. Before now, most operations at the agency are centralised. Sailing certificates, payment of bills by stakeholders were coordinated completely from the Head office which was considered cumbersome, leading to loss of valuable business time thus less productivity.
Currently, most zones are now headed by substantive Directors that will ensure more responsibilities and authorities are devolved to the zones thus reducing time to do business with the Agency, and improve efficiency.
In addition, Peterside administration has repositioned NIMASA to regain its position in International Maritime Organisition, IMO Council which Nigeria left over half a decade ago. In this regard, the Heads of African Maritime Administration have agreed to converge in Abuja in April for the 3rd Association of African Maritime Administration Conference.
The move is expected to enhance Nigeria chances to return to Council at IMO at the Category C level thus Nigeria’s maritime sector will be repositioned to take its lead in the community of maritime nations.
The AMA April event will also witness a total rebranding of the agency to be unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari. Peterside said the need to rebrand NIMASA was borne out of the fact that the agency must align with other foremost maritime administrations in the world.
Taking into consideration the importance of hi-tech, the Peterside administration instituted a medium term strategy through digital transformation to hasten processes at NIMASA. The process allows stakeholders to register their vessels and transact all other transactions digitally with a click of a button on their laptop.