The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is the nation’s apex maritime regulatory and promotional agency. However, the agency has been in the news lately for alleged fraudulent cases by previous administrations. Lydia Ojarikre went to town to ask ordinary Nigerians if they are aware of the ongoing trials.
The alleged financial scam in NIMASA has been on the news especially the former Director General of the agency Patrick Akpobolokemi and his partners; Ekene Nwakuche, Ezekiel Agaba and so on. The one that caught my attention was the $1.6million, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was said to have traced to the ex-Nigerian Air Force finance chief, Retired Air Commodore Yushau which was also linked with the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh who is also retired. He was said to have signed an agreement with NIMASA on August 2013 with a view of providing effective air surveillance and monitoring of the nation’s coastal area that is ensuring improved security in the Nigerian maritime sector.
Badeh, who was the Chief of Air Staff, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of the Air Force while Patrick Akpobolokemi, who was the Director-General of NIMASA, signed on behalf of the maritime agency. N4.4billion was later transferred from the bank account of NIMASA to the air force. Later on EFCC investigations revealed that the money was diverted to private accounts. Yushau, who was the Director of Finance and Accounts when the MoU was signed, was said to have diverted $1.6million which was transferred to the air force account by NIMASA shortly before his retirement. A top source at the EFCC later said that out of the money, Yushau gave $800,000 to Badeh, which Badeh denied receiving. This shows of how the financial scam in NIMASA under the past Director General was high. Several other witnesses have also come up to testify against the ex DG of NIMASA on alleged fraud cases. I just hope the new Director General of the agency learns from these and shun all form of corruption.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have been in the news over several corruption scandals. I read on online blogs of how billions of naira was allegedly siphoned by the former Director General, Patrick Akpobolokemi. Another is how Government Ekpemupoloa.k.aTompolo and Patrick Akpobolokemi were linked to the N13billion NIMASA proposed university that is the Nigerian Maritime University land scam in which he even short paid the leaders of the Okerenkoko community on the acquisition of the land. The university was later cancelled by the Federal Government earlier this year.
There are so many corruption scandals with the past administration of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). From allegations of recruitment and promotion scandals to alleged theft running into billions of naira by the ex-boss, Patrick Akpobolokemi, Ezekiel Agaba and others. The specific one which really caught my attention was the fashion designer who received N546.8million whereas no contract was awarded and executed by him.
I don’t know anything about the financial scam in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
I didn’t know about the financial scam in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) until the day I watched on one of the TV stations and saw a former Director General of the agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi walking with the aid of crutches at a Federal high court in Lagos after being arraigned for allegedly siphoning billions of naira.Another I also read about was when the Minister of Transport, RotimiAmaechi visited Lagos to view the ports and other agencies in the maritime sector and was displeased at the situation of things in NIMASA that he had to order for the staff and financial audit of the agency and earlier this year the proposed Nigeria Maritime University was cancelled by the Federal government. So many controversies in the agency yet it is meant to be an apex regulatory and promotional maritime agency.
The agency has been in the news on some many issues especially with the past administration over alleged fraud cases running into billions of naira. I read in the papers on how about nine of the top staffs of the agency were suspended by the then Acting Director General, HarunaJauro over their connection with alleged fraud running into N38billion. The affected staffs were the Executive Director, Ezekiel Agaba; three Directors WarrediEnisuoh, Vincent Udoye and Felix Bob-Nabena and two Assistants Director; Amechee Juan and Ugo Fredrick. The others were TimiAlari, EkeneNwakuche and Rex Elems. The same Patrick Akpobolokemi was also linked to cases with Tompolo, a former Niger Delta militant and immediate past chief of Defence staff, Alex Badeh. The agency needs to sanitize itself off bad eggs to enable it work in line with its mandate which is to administrate maritime safety seafarers standards and security, shipping regulation, promotion of commercial shipping and cabotage activities, pollution prevention and control in the marine environment and also the implementation of domesticated International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions.
Warri, Delta State
I don’t know anything about the agency the financial scam in the Nigerian Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Lately, NIMASA has been in the news on so many scandals like one i read online was how an ex-boss of NIMASA siphoned N546.8million to a fashion designer who no contract was awarded to or executed by him. There was also a video I watched on how the former Director General of the same agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi was re-arrested over alleged fraud running into billions of naira at a Federal High Court in Lagos when he was coming out from another case at the court. NIMASA mandate is to ensure orderly development, protection and manpower training in the shipping industry as well as to monitor marine pollution and spillage in the Nigeria waterways amongst others not to be involved in fraudulent acts. The agency should work on repositioning itself.
In my opinion and from what I have read I believe the financial scam in the agency didn’t just start, it must have started way back but it became more obvious with the past administration. I read the dailies and from what I have read Patrick Akpobolokemi and othersallegedly siphoned billions of naira from the agency. The one that baffled me was the N546.8million a fashion designer received despite the fact that he wasn’t awarded a contract nor executed any. If we don’t kick corruption from the grassroots, it will eat deep into the system. Now that the agency has a new Director General which is DakukuPeterside, I hope same situation would not repeat itself. Well, he needs not to be told, all he needs to do is look at what the previous Director General is going through right now.
The alleged financial scam in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has been in the news lately. From the ex-boss TemisanOmatseye alleged fraud case to that of the immediate past Director General, Patrick Akpobolokemi alleged fraud case of N2.6billion. Government Ekpemupoloa.k.aTompolo has been said to be linked to that of Patrick Akpobolokemi’s case but till date he has failed to show up despite the summons by EFCC, seizure of his assets and been declared as a wanted person. All these alleged fraud cases are what led to the cancellation of the proposed Nigerian Maritime University in Delta State which would have helped a lot of Niger Deltans and the country as a whole.