Intrigues as entrenched interests move to truncate NIMASA personnel review panel report

Intrigues seem to have characterized the implementation of the report of the committee set up by the Federal Ministry of Transport to review appointments, placements and promotions carried out in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) from 2008 to 2015.
Investigation revealed that the committee set up by the Ministry has since concluded its assignment and submitted a report containing its recommendations to the Ministry over four weeks ago but the report is yet to be implemented or even made public perhaps due to the strong interests against its implementation.
The committee was expected to determine whether employments, placements and promotions in NIMASA from 2008 to date conformed to the Civil Service procedures, rules and also in line with the Federal Character Principle.
It was gathered that the Director representing the Ministry on the agency’s Board had written to the then Minister of Transport in December 2014 bringing to his attention the flagrant disregard for due process in employment, placement and promotion as well as the Federal Character principle in the agency, necessitating the setting up of the committee.
Some staff of the agency also wrote a petition to the Transport Minister under the aegis of “Concerned Staff of NIMASA” alleging lack of due process by the agency’s management in the employment and placement of officers.
The latest twist in the unfolding drama is the summons handed out to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry to appear before the Senator Samuel Anyanwu led committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions today.
Sources close to the Senate Committee informed this reporter that the summons is as a result of a petition which was written to the committee and copied to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Ministry of Transport challenging the constitution of the committee by the Ministry and also emphasizing that the exercise was meant to demote professionals who were engaged by the administration of of the erstwhile NIMASA Director-General, Patrick Akpobolokemi.
The source who declined to be named however said that the copy of the petition that was sent to the Ministry had the name of Senator Sulaiman Mohammed Nazif on it because the Senator has a younger brother in NIMASA, Captain Mohammed Nazif who is likely to be affected by the outcome.
Interestingly, in the wave of these petitions and counter-petitions, Captain Mohammed Nazif, who is an Assistant Director in charge of Search and Rescue in NIMASA also wrote a petition to the Ministry of Transport challenging the authority of the ministry to set up a committee to review appointments in NIMASA amongst other issues.
It was also learnt that after reviewing the petition written by Captain Nazif, the Ministry had written to NIMASA on the conduct of its staff and directed disciplinary action against him for using derogatory and insulting language in his petition, preempting the result of the committee’s work and for failing to use the proper channel to communicate his grievances all of which have prescribed punishment in the Public Service Rules.
According to sources in the Ministry, Captain Nazif and his co-travellers seem to be using his elder brother who represents the people of Bauchi North Senatorial district in the Senate to prevent the further consideration of the report of the committee and therefore its subsequent implementation alleging that the exercise is a witchhunt.
This is not the first time a Ministerial committee of this kind would be set up by the Federal Ministry of Transport to review appointments at NIMASA.
In 2000, the then Minister of Transport, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, had constituted a committee to look into the alleged breaches in employment and promotion procedures in NIMASA which led to the sack of the then Director General, George Eneh and the demotion of several other officers, including Yusuf Suleiman who was demoted from Director to the rank of Assistant Director. Suleiman would later serve as Transport Minister under former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010.

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