- ‘ Cases of rape rise to 84% in Nigeria’
- Dana air crash update: 23 aircrash victims’ families yet to receive compensation
- Mimiko inaugurates new Mother & Child hospital today
- N4.56b pension scam: Female accused hospitalised,trial stalled
- Construction workers hail FG’s decision on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
- Senate adjourns plenary for 1 week, dissolves to Appropriation committee.
- Blackout looms as Egbin power plant breaks down
- FMBN, NEXIM, BOA, IB lose N47bn in 6 months - CBN
- FirstBank wins Nigerian Bank of the Year award
- PDP tackles ACN over Tukur’s comments
- Electricity workers threaten strike over Wamakko
- ‘NDIC prosecuted 55 directors, staff of micro finance banks in 2011’
- Judgment in Oni’s appeal stalled, re-fixed for Jan 8
- Slain banker: Deceased had only 3 wounds -Accused’s father
- Appointments: S/West not marginalised —FCC
NIMASA crisis: Stakeholders appraise board•As ISAN blames EFCC for complicating matters
The stakeholders, who subsequently called on the EFCC to also invite the NIMASA Board of Directors for questioning if the anti-graft body was to be taken seriously, were particularly awed that the audit report which detailed the spending over which the EFCC intervened and suspended two of the agency’s Executive Directors (Procurement and Finance) was allegedly done with the agency board’s endorsement.
“This is crazy. How do you sanction the errand boys, and leave the alleged masterminds untouched? You picked and quizzed two of the agency’s Executive Directors, while leaving untouched, those that sent them on errands? Is this the way the EFCC wants to do its job and expect industry operators to still respect them?” asked a master mariner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stressing that the EFCC would continue to enjoy his respect, only if they allowed fairness.
But while the master mariner keeps his fingers crossed, the body of ship-owners under the aegis of the Indigenous Ship-owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN) has tasked the EFCC to stop playing games with serious issues of the maritime industry, emphasizing that this was not the first time the anti graft body would swoop on NIMASA Director Generals, accuse them of corruption or fraud, get them sacked and thereafter occupy themselves with less important issues.
Specifically, the ISAN accused the EFCC of working as willing tools in the hands of foreign shipping companies to remove serving NIMASA Director Generals who failed to tow their lines.
“In the 22 years of the establishment of NIMASA (formerly Nigerian Maritime Authority), the apex maritime regulatory agency has had 11 Director Generals. The last three DGs were removed via the EFCC route!” emphasized the ISAN Chairman, Chief Isaac Jolapamo, who maintained that it was incisive enough that the anti graft body never prosecuted any of those DGs, after their removal.
“Other regulatory agencies like the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) were able to record growth and development in the aviation industry leading to Nigeria Airports being on the global ‘White List’ of ICAO due to stability in the leadership and non-interference by the government. The same goes for NAFDAC, SEC, CBN, and host of others.
“Our government has not realised that the maritime sector is a key economic sector that needs to be developed. No nation has ever developed without maritime trade. Walter Raleigh in 1640 said:
‘Whoever controls the sea controls the trade. And whoever controls the trade controls the riches of the world’.
“Our dream to be one of the 20 economies of the world may be adversely affected if we do not look after our maritime trade to ensure its proper development to affect our economic prosperity”, Chief Jolapamo explained further, adding that past DGs like Mfon Usoro, Ugwu and Dr. Ade Dosunmu were all removed, purely on allegations of corruption or fraud by the EFCC, which thereafter went to bed, after their removal.
“If a crime is committed, let the laws take its course! We need to allow the leadership of NIMASA time to plan and execute good developmental programmes for the maritime industry, as the NCAA, CBN, SEC, NAFDAC, etc. by running their full terms.”
Meanwhile, a source within the troubled agency which maintained that most of the contentious contracts were actually awarded by the BOD, has accused the EFCC of doing wishy washy investigation, ridiculing the watch-dog body for woefully failing to “peep into the agency’s approved budget before jumping into its present conclusion.”
“All contracts went through due process. The dollar component of the contract as claimed by the audit report was the one on the salvage of vessels washed ashore in Lagos and it went through the ministerial tender’s board.
“The Omorodion panel claimed that we bought a generator for N129, 294,000 instead of N89 million market prices. But if they had done their job thoroughly, they would have discovered that we did not spend a kobo of this money as the contractor has not even been issued a contract letter,” the agency source stated further, adding that both the audit panel and the EFCC which swallowed the document hook, line and sinker actually goofed in the manner it went swooping on the agency.
A copy of the audit report made available to the Nigerian Tribune showed that while the Director General, Temisan Omatseye, allegedly awarded N236, 068, 400 and US $1, 863, 000; the suspended Executive Directors awarded none; the board of Directors awarded as much N2, 237, 030, 203 between January and June this year!
Effort to obtain the official reaction of the Board failed as all calls and text messages to the BOD Chairman, Baba Tela, for over a week, were all ignored.Share