15 March 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The House Committee on Maritime, Education, Safety and Administration has slammed the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA for underutilization of its approved N42 billion capital project vote for 2017.
Speaking during an oversight function visit to the agency, the Chairman of the Committee, Umaru Bago Mohammed, frowned at the fact the apex maritime regulatory agency was only able to utilize N5 billion of the approved fund.
He threatened that unless the agency improves on the utilization of the fund, the committee may be forced to approve only the amount spent by the agency in their next budget. Bago, however, commended the management of the agency for responding positively to its queries on the welfare of the staff on the agency which he said was important if the maritime body must achieve its mandate.
According to him, “It is not right that we approve funds for you and you do not spend it. If you do not spend your money on capital projects, we will give you less in the next budget,” he noted.
While commending NIMASA’s effort in the training of cadets, the House Committee chairman stressed the need for the maritime agency to speed up its effort in acquiring vessels for training as it has planned.
He also commended the agency’s effort to bring in the floating dockyard which he observed would save the nation huge revenue that the private ship owners currently spent on dry docking of their vessels across the sub-region.
Responding, the Director General of NIMASA Dakuku Peterside, explained that the management has promoted over 800 staff recently in its bid to motive the staff to achieve it set goals. Peterside also said that the agency has sent 289 cadets for training abroad as part of the National Seafarers Development Programme, NSDP. On the issue of capital projects, he assured that the agency would work at improving the spending in that direction.
The NIMASA boss assured the visiting National Assembly members that the floating dock would be arriving the country in the next few weeks, though he was not specific on the time frame.
He pointed out that NIMASA is currently recognized internationally as a maritime administration because of the constant training and re-training of the agency’s staff to keep them up to date in the performance of their duties.
The NIMASA Director-General noted that before now, the mention of the name of the agency was synonymous with corruption but that the situation has since changed with the present management in place.