On Thursday July 16, 2015, then Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi was presiding over a management meeting in his office. The sole agenda of the meeting was how to dismiss a Deputy Director, Olayemi Abbas from the agency.
Abass was said to have become too critical of Akpobolokemi’s charade and could no longer contain himself. He openly criticized Akpobolokemi’s high-handedness and mismanagement of the otherwise professional agency.
Not satisfied with rendering the accountant redundant by deploying him from the Finance Department to the DG’s office, Akpobolokemi decided to sack him. But as fate would have it, the day his sack meeting was holding was the same day Akpobolokemi himself was fired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
As deliberations were ongoing on how to sack Abass, a call came through from the office of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transport – who was overseeing the Ministry at the time since Ministers had not been appointed – directing the disgraced former NIMASA strongman to immediately suspend his activities and start the process of handing over to the next senior NIMASA official. That phone call saved Olayemi Abass’ job.
As fate would have it, Abass was on Wednesday promoted a Director by the NIMASA Governing Board. He was one of 76 NIMASA management staff elevated to their next grade levels.
The promotions were approved at the 34th meeting of the NIMASA Board, held in Lagos under the chairmanship of General Jonathan India Garba on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
Eight Deputy Directors were promoted to the level of Directors, 15 Assistant Directors were promoted to Deputy Directors while 56 grade level 14 officers were promoted to their next grade of Assistant Directors.
Those promoted to Directors include the agency’s Spokesperson, Lami Tumaka, Head of Procurement department, Sani Mohammed, Head of Financial Services department, Olayemi Abbas and his counterpart in Cabotage department, Hassan el-Yakub.
Others are the Coordinator of Western Zonal Operations, Hajia Aisha Jummai Musa, Head of Marine Environment Management department, Mrs. Susan Asagwara, Head of Shipping Development department, Mr. Akin Akinyosoye and his counterpart in Legal Services, Mr. Suleman Abdulsalam.
The promotion reportedly went through a rigorous process where independent consultants were engaged to carry out the exercise.
Similarly, the executive management of the agency has also approved the promotion of a total number of 222 non-management staff between grade levels 4 to 14.
The Governing Board has enjoined the newly promoted staff to dedicate themselves to duty as the promotions will undoubtedly come with more responsibilities, adding that henceforth promotion exercises in the agency will be conducted as at when due.
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