The Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, on Monday directed the management of the Nigerian Maritime and Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to carry-out an immediate financial and staff audit of its staff.
The minister gave the directive during a stop-over at the NIMASA Resource Centre, Kirikiri, as part of his maiden tour of Lagos ports
Amaechi also directed the Acting Director-General of NIMASA, Mr Haruna Jauro, to forward details of contracts awarded so far by the agency to his office for verification.
The former Rivers governor demanded a detailed financial report of the agency since its inception.
“Over N100 billion is given to this agency yearly and I am yet to see how it has been spent. I am yet to see some of the projects being executed by this agency,’’ Amaechi said.
The minister also requested for the staff nominal roll, to obtain details of staff employed by the agency and their qualifications.
He instructed the acting director-general to forward the staff nominal roll of the agency to the Federal Ministry of Transport to know if there were vacancies that could be filled by competent people.
Amaechi also expressed dissatisfaction with the ill-equipped clinic laboratory at the NIMASA Resource Centre.
“From my inspection so far, I discovered that the Search and Rescue Clinic is not equipped. The canteen is in a deteriorated condition. The chairs are not okay (convenient and suitable for sitting) and the place is leaking,’’ the minster said.
NAN reports that NIMASA is the apex regulatory and promotional maritime agency.
The Agency was created from the merger of National Maritime Authority (NMA) and Joint Maritime Labour Industrial Council (JOMALIC) on Aug. 1, 2006.
Earlier, the minister also directed the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to work toward achieving 48-hour-cargo-clearance target.
Amaechi gave the directive during his maiden visit to the headquarters of NPA in Lagos.
He said he had promised President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that Nigerian ports achieved 48-hour-cargo-clearance target.
“Other countries operating maritime industry are achieving 48-hour-cargo–clearance target; so, Nigeria must not be an exemption to the rule.
“I believe in transparency and hardwork. We should endeavour to do what people are expecting us to do.
“I will inform the public about the activities of the maritime industry to make sure you do what people will like to know,’’ he said.
In his address, the Managing Director of NPA, Malam Habib Abdullahi, said he had made tremendous efforts in the last three years in championing the affairs of Nigerian ports.
“When we take you round the ports, you will be able to see the developments at Lagos ports. We have two of the ports in Lagos while the remaining four are outside Lagos.
“NPA is one of the oldest parastatals in the country and is still maintaining its status and statutory obligations as directed by the Federal Government,’’ Abdullahi said.