NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi makes history, gets second term before expiration of first

Two months ahead of the expiration of his first term, President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the re-appointment of the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, for a second and final term of four years.

In a letter by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, dated October 13, 2014, the appointment would take effect from December 23, 2014.

Anyin said the re-appointment was in accordance with the relevant provisions of the NIMASA Act 2007.

The letter partly read, “I am pleased to inform you that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, has approved your re-apppointment as the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency for a second and final tenure of four years, in accordance with Section 11 (1) and (2) of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act, 2007.

NIMASA is the apex regulatory and promotional maritime agency created from the merger of the National Maritime Authority and Joint Maritime Labour Industrial Council (former parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Transport) on August 1, 2006.

The agency oversees the administration of maritime safety seafarers standards and security, maritime labour, shipping regulation, promotion of commercial shipping and pollution prevention and control of the marine environment.

Akpobolokemi is already the longest serving chief executive of the agency and the first to be appointed for a second term.

The pioneer DG of NIMASA, Mrs. Mfon Ekong Usoro, appointed on August 1, 2006 served for only eight and half months as she was removed in May 2007; her successor, Dr. Ade Dosumu served for 24 months, from May 2007 to July 2009 while Mr. Temi Omatseye who took over from Dosunmu served for 18 months – July 2009 to December 2010 when he was suspended by President Jonathan to pave the way for Akpobolokemi.

Akpobolokemi’s stability in the agency is believed to be due to his closeness to the President – a fellow Ijaw kinsman.

Prior to the creation of NIMASA in 2006, the defunct National Maritime Authority (NMA) also suffered from a high turnover of its chief executives.