NIMASA will still be reformed – Amaechi

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  • As Buhari says: My govt not responsible for recession

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi on Wednesday assured that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) will still undergo proper reforms, to optimize it’s operations, in line with stakeholders prayers.

Core industry stakeholders had prayed for a NIMASA where cadets would timely get seatime and discharge certificates; and where ships can be fully registered within at most, six months, instead of the present over five years duration.

Subsequently, they had also expected that with the appointment of Dr. Dakuku Peterside, a health oriented guru as director general, that subsequent appointments would be of experienced industry operators to assist the Director General deliver on the agency mandate; but this hope was dashed, when the Executive Directors came as people without the cognate industry exposure needed to hit the ground, running.

Addressing a question from the Maritime First, the Minister on the occasion of the World Maritime Day at the Eko Hotels, said the agency had actually not escaped the desired reforms, adding that any observed delay was purely because he was still waiting for necessary input from the agency management to the submission from the Committee, before going public on the issue.

Stakeholders however said they were growing impatient because another Committee, also set up by Rotimi Amaechi to midwife a national fleet had gone into an “implementation phase”, the NIMASA-overhauling Committee had seemingly gone to bed.

“Tell me one thing that the NIMASA has achieved since President Buhari took over power? I said, just little thing. We could guess the value of the vessels promotion fund under former President Jonathan… Now, it’s like it is even sacrilegious, to even talk about it”, an agitated stakeholder quipped, speaking on conditions of anonymity.

He however pleaded with Dr Peterside to avoid feigning to be an ‘expert’, in a domain where he is still professionally speaking, a complete greenhorn.

Speaking in the same vein, an industry watcher, Tony Emeordi however praised Dakuku, even as he noted that the Director General is still a greenhorn.

“I read his body language. He is good. He is vibrant. And he wants to be seen as an expert. But in the maritime industry, it is not your voice, but your fruit that counts. We are still waiting to see this”, he concluded.

In the meantime, President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected the criticism that his handling of the economy led the country into a recession.

Speaking at the State House, in Abuja on Thursday, during a  meeting with ‎ the Senior Executive Course No 38 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPSS),  he said that it was not his administration that led the country into recession.

‎The president said: “In the last one and half years of this administration, the economy has experienced some tough times, particularly with the decline in oil revenues, which has some harsh impacts on Nigerians at the grassroots.

“It is also important to note that the economic recession is not the making of this administration, but rather a consequence of bad management of the economy in the past couple of decades. Nor is recession limited to Nigeria; there are far, far worse cases than Nigeria.”

The president, however, said that no matter the scale of the  problem facing the country, the important thing was how to tackle it. He said his administration was  committed to finding lasting solutions to the nation’s economic structural imbalance. “Let us have faith in our great nation that we will come out of this recession vibrant and strong‎,” he added.

‎The president said it was impossible for his administration to ignore the poor who made great sacrifice to bring him to government. He said: “Ours more than any other government in the history of Nigeria is a people’s government.  We therefore must and we will keep faith with the people.”

President Buhari admitted that at a point after he was inaugurated as the President in May 2015, he felt like running away.   He said he would have taken the decision because of the myriad of problems his administration inherited from past governments.
Additional report from The Citizen