Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, was beside himself with anger penultimate Thursday during a meeting of the Parastatal Tenders Board (PTB), as he accused some Directors of the agency of leaking contract documents to the press, according to multiple sources.
The PTB, which is a creation of the Public Procurement Act of 2007, is responsible for approving the award of contracts above the DG’s five million threshold. It is made up of the Director-General as chairman, the three Executive Directors and representatives of various departments and units in the agency.
The NIMASA DG, who threatened to deal with the yet-to-be-identified Directors, also had a confrontation with the agency’s Executive Director of Operations, Engr. Rotimi Fasakin, at the meeting.
Fasakin had complained bitterly that Dakuku was sidelining him in the running of the agency and in the affairs of the operations department, which he heads.
A SHIPS & PORTS DAILY source, who was present at the latest PTB meeting held penultimate Thursday in the Board Room of the agency at its Burma Road Headquarters in Apapa, Lagos, said Fasakin, who was not known to be a fussy person, accused Dakuku of nominating certain persons to represent the operations department at the meeting without his (Fasakin’s) input or knowledge.
“He pointedly told the DG that he was not appointed an Executive Director by President Muhammadu Buhari to be a puppet. After speaking his mind, he left the meeting,” the source said.
“I think the matter only got to a head during the last meeting. The man was embarrassed to get to the meeting only to find some workers under him in attendance without him knowing of how they were nominated. It has been brewing but the ED had been quiet about it. The agency has been run like that for more than three years. It is more of a one-man show,” the source added.
Dakuku has faced severe criticisms lately over the award of controversial contracts running into billions of naira. Many of the contracts have been exposed by top officials of the agency through leaked documents.
Recently, a memo dated 18-03-2019 with the subject “STATUS UPDATE ON MODULAR FLOATING DOCK (MfD NIMASA)” signed by the Head, Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standards (MSSS), Capt. Sunday Umoren, and which was obtained exclusively by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, revealed the controversial payment of a whopping $30,000 daily as wharfage charges on the equally controversial floating dock recently acquired by the agency. The floating dock has been idle since its acquisition in 2018.
Another document leaked in June exposed the award of a contract worth N248,850,000 to one Thames Hudson Consulting and Contracting Limited for the dry docking and repair of one of NIMASA boats, MV Ofure. Many staff of the agency and maritime industry stakeholders decried the award of the contract by NIMASA, despite owning a floating dock.
Thames Hudson Consulting and Contracting Limited is not known to own any ship repair facility either in or outside Nigeria. The foreign company merely engages in brokerage with a few shipyards outside Nigeria. The company admitted this much on its website, stating that it merely operates “like a project management company”.
Documents have also been released showing that the NIMASA DG has been awarding contracts worth over one million dollars monthly to hire patrol boats known as Fast Security Intervention Vessel (FSIV) since 2017 till date, despite a $195 million maritime security contract awarded to an Israeli firm, HLSI Security Systems and Technologies Limited, to provide the same service.
Documents obtained exclusively by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY reveal that the agency has been hiring the FSIV from different companies, namely Peace Marine and Energy Limited (PMEL), Fairway Offshore Limited, XPO Marine Services Limited and Thamson Energy Services Limited.