The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has ordered the immediate financial audit of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and all the contracts awarded by the agency since inception.
Amaechi who gave the order yesterday during his maiden visit to maritime agencies also ordered for the agency’s staff nominal roll and their qualifications.
He also directed the agency’s finance director to furnish him with the payment status of all the contracts awarded and the level of completion of the contracts.
“From the day they set up NIMASA, I want to get the financial report. How much has been received. How many contracts have they awarded in all the funds they have received, how much have they given to the federal government, how much have they spent, how much have they paid to each contractor and what stage is each contract? How many staff do they have, what are their qualifications and their positions including cleaners?”
He however noted that the audit is not to probe or find fault with the agency but to enable them make progress.
Amaechi also expressed his dissatisfaction at the level of infrastructural decay and non-functional equipment at the NIMASA’s Regional Search and Rescue Centre, which he described as a national disaster saying he wondered what all the funds allocated to NIMASA, was expended on.
“When l visited the place they call lab, there was no equipment there. The toilets there were unkempt. There is absolutely nothing in the lab. The place they called restaurant is filled with olden days, dirty unkempt chairs.
“What this simply means is that all the hundreds of billions of naira spent by NIMASA, it is only God who knows where they are spending it on. If NIMASA has the responsibility for security and for protection including search and rescue, then we are yet to begin.
“And the kind of money I hear they have spent, they should have at least gotten the equipment for the purposes of search and rescue, maybe I am wrong. Maybe the equipment for search and rescue are found in the water or on top of the water, I wouldn’t know,” he said.
While at the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) Amaechi urged the agency to work to ensure that the portS operate and achieve 48hours cargo clearance.
According to him, if the 48 hours cargo clearance could be achieved at other ports within the sub-region, then Nigerian ports shouldn’t be different.
He said his administration would operate an open and transparent system so that the public will be well informed of the ministry’s activities.
Amaechi also visited the Nigerian Shipper’s Council and some terminals at the Tincan Island Port Complex.
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