The Acting Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Haruna Baba Jauro has been questioned by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as part of the probe of the tenure of his predecessor, Patrick Akpobolokemi.
Jauro, who confirmed this last week when he visited a media house in Lagos, also said that some other directors of the agency have been questioned by the anti-graft agency. He however did not disclose the identities of the affected directors.
“In fact, I was the first person to be interviewed by the EFCC as the Executive Director in charge of Finance and Administration.
“When the EFCC came, I told them all they wanted to know, and they left.
“What they wanted was for me to tell them what I knew and what was on ground and I told them some of the things I am just telling you,” Jauro said.
He also disclosed that at a time, the erstwhile embattled former NIMASA chief executive sidelined him in making payments by the agency.
“Another thing I want to say is that at a time, the mandate for the control of our resources was watered down.
“I travelled and when I came back, all the other EDs (Executive Directors) were made signatories to the account of NIMASA, which should not be in normal circumstances.
“When I raised the issue, I was told that there was need for us to trust one another and work together.
“I said but I could not go and sign releasing of ships, I could not go and sign anything on cabotage, now they were signing money.
“I said I hoped they will do it well and that is why some payments that were made I did not see them, other signatories effected them.
“The budgets were prepared, heads of unit would sign and they do not come to me, they only come to me when it is for signing for payment, which other people could do. I told the EFCC all these things,” Jauro said while responding to questions on the probe of the agency by the EFCC.
The NIMASA boss denied insinuations that the agency sponsored political campaigns, especially hate campaigns against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, in the run up to the April 2015 general election.
“There were rumours that NIMASA sponsored some adverts but it is not so because we do not have approval for such as an agency.
“We cannot, as a government agency that should be non-political, be involved in political campaigns.
“NIMASA did not sponsor any campaign against anyone because we are not a political entity,” he said.
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