29 November 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration has resolved to support the rebuilding efforts of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in its quest to reposition, reform and restructure for the benefit of the nation.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Mohammed Umar Bago disclosed this when he led other members of his committee oversight visit to the Agency.
Hon. Bago challenged the Agency’s Management on its budget implementation stating that the Committee expects an implementation of over 90%. He called on the Management to spend the funds appropriated according to the provisions of the law so that the value of the projects can be realised.
Describing NIMASA and the Committee as partners in progress, Hon. Bago assured the unflinching support of members to enable the Agency to deliver on its mandate in ensuring the growth and development of the maritime sector, especially now that the country is in a recession.
The Committee Chair called on the Management not to see their visit as punitive but as a wakeup call noting that “in the 8th Assembly, the legislative agenda is the same. All of us apply the same approach now in trying to bring out the best in our parastatals. We should not be seen as vindictive or punitive but as partners in progress.”
On his part, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside assured the Committee of the Agency’s readiness to cooperate with the Committee in the interest of the maritime industry and the country as a whole.
According to the DG, “when you are given an assignment, you are expected to be accountable, you are expected to conduct the assignment in a transparent manner. The oversight function today is part of the accountability responsibility on our side. The National Assembly appropriates for us so we are expected to be accountable. And so we have given account of our stewardship.
“The National Assembly may not have been totally satisfied with what we have done but they appreciate that a lot is being done to change the narrative in NIMASA”.
Dr. Peterside who assured the Chairman and members of the Committee that there would be a significant improvement in the operations of the Agency also welcomed the call for synergy between the Executive and Legislative arms of government for the benefit of Nigerians.
In his words, “The beauty of democracy is collaboration, synergy between the Executive and the Legislative arms of government, it is not we versus them; we are all working for a single purpose to help Nigerians. We are working to help the Nigerian people to ensure that life is better for all our people. No single arm of government can do it alone; we must work in a collaborative manner”.
The House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration who were in NIMASA as part of their oversight function also visited the NIMASA Resource Centre and met with some stakeholders in the maritime industry including the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN).