The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has condemned what it called “the ongoing smear campaign being carried out by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Campaign Organisation against the agency in trying to score political points against President Goodluck Jonathan”.
The agency has therefore asked the APC and its campaign organisation to withdraw their accusations that NIMASA had engaged in the sponsorship of hate campaign against the APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, failing which it would resort to legal action.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos on Sunday, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Patrick Akpobolokemi said: “The vicious campaign is intended to cast aspersions on the activities and integrity of NIMASA as a responsible corporate entity of government. We should leave politics to the politicians and let the professionals do their job.”
Akpobolokemi also used debunked the allegation that NIMASA contracted the country’s maritime security to a private firm owned by Tompolo, or any private company as insinuated by APC. He maintained that no such contract existed.
He said he was taken aback by recent media reports which tried “to disparage the agency on the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP)”.
He said under the programme, over 2,500 young Nigerians have benefitted or are currently enjoying various levels of scholarship in reputable institutions in the United Kingdom, Egypt, Romania, India and Philippines.
He said the NSDP beneficiaries were studying to become marine engineers, naval architects and nautical scientists.
“This has gone on successfully devoid of any discrimination. For the avoidance of doubts, no student of the NSDP programme has been sent out of school for fees and none will be sent out, because all fees have been paid by NIMASA till date,” Akpobolokemi said.
He appealed that maritime administration be left to the professionals at NIMASA while politics should remain within the terrain of the politicians.
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