The appointment of a new helmsman at the affairs of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has drawn series of commendations from stakeholders in the maritime sector who believed that the regime would berth new dawn for the sector.
Bashir Jamoh is considered the first NIMASA DG to have risen through the ranks to clinch the seat of director-general.
Officers of the agency went into jubilation on Thursday when news filtered out that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the appointment of Jamoh as the new director-general of the agency.
Stakeholders who spoke with The Guardian said Jamoh’s appointment would herald a new dawn in NIMASA, and bring succor to the industry especially because of his vast knowledge of the maritime industry.
Jamoh, who is currently the president of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration (CIoTA) has spent over 25 years of professional experience in the industry. Until now, Jamoh was the Executive Director of Finance and Administration at NIAMSA.
Speaking on the development, President of Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), Aminu Umar hailed his appointment because of his understanding of the maritime sector.
Umar who called for industry support for Jamoh said his presence in the management team of Dakuku Peterside means he will continue from where the immediate past administration stopped.
He said, “I wish him all the best, as we all know, he is an insider and he is also a veteran in transport administration because he is the president of CIoTA, so it is a better day ahead for the maritime industry,”
He stated further, “with his appointment, the presidency has put a round peg in a round hole and it is very different from bringing an outsider that is someone who will start learning the industry,” he said.
Former president, Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, described the choice of Jamoh being an insider as a good development for the industry.
According to him, “It is a rare opportunity to have somebody who has been in the system over a couple of decades, who has seen it all both the bad and the ugly and does not need to be tutored on what the agency mandates are. This is the first time a true insider is being appointed as the DG and that to me is a very good development. He definitely will have his own strategy on how to deliver on the mandate. I am very comfortable with his appointment.”
On his expectation from the new NIMASA DG, Ogbeifun urged Jamoh to ensure the timely disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) and also use his wealth of experience to build indigenous capacity as well as address challenges of maritime security in Nigeria’s maritime domain.
“On the issue of security, Jamoh himself is an expert in the issue of maritime security from the book he published, so I think he would probably articulate an effective solution to the lingering maritime security issue that is making Nigeria waters a very unsafe haven in international shipping. The issue of capacity development both in human capacity and infrastructure development is a platform that is critical to actualizing the pillars of the Cabotage act,” he said.
A member of the Steering Committee of the Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), Taiwo Akinpelumi, who also hailed the appointment of Jamoh said he is a round peg in a round hole given his years of experience in the industry.
He urged him to use his appointment to foster greater collaboration with industry stakeholders to redirect the industry towards greater heights.
He said, “I consider the appointment of Bashir Jamoh to be in order. Apart from having been in the system for so long, he has some requisite credentials that qualify him to occupy the position. Such as but not limited to; his years of experience in the maritime industry, his academic qualifications, his author of some books and papers on some maritime-related issues, and most importantly, willingness to come on board to implement stakeholders’ agenda in the industry. I believe his tenure will be for the stakeholders. And you can’t agree less with me that a robust engagement of stakeholders will be one of the major catalysts to the growth and development of a veritable maritime industry.”
“Dakuku did not make any clear or concerted effort towards the development of local capacity; it was all motion and no moment. His incompetence didn’t allow him to have fully appreciated the appreciation of what is required to build capacity for the indigenous shipping. The agency under Dakuku’s leadership lacks flag state coastal responsibility. This was one of the major reasons Nigeria lost the ‘Category C’ election in IMO. And lack of clear cut blueprint on maritime security. NIMASA, under him, embraced joint maritime initiative that creates functions overlap, against developing an initiative that NIMASA can claim the ownership with full control and make a request for backup from other security agencies should the need arises.
“His leadership was fraught with underperformance, sectionalism, filtering away resources on frivolities such as payment on endless seminars, meeting, summits and humongous amount to hire musicians and people in the entertainment industry. It will be correct to tag him Nollywood DG,” he said.
Chairman, Port Consultative Council (PCC) Otunba Kunle Folarin said, “We are glad that an insider has been considered for the office of the DG because the industry has been pushing for a long time that an industry person rather than only politicians be considered for the office of the DG, which is highly sensitive in the areas of maritime administration and policy. Dr. Jamoh has over 30 years of experience in the industry and he has served at various capacities, all this put him at a good speed to be able to administer NIMASA and I am sure he will get all the necessary support of the industry.
Otunba Folarin expressed optimism that Jamoh’s appointment will help grow the industry to make it relevant not only in Nigeria but also globally.