Some workers of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have sent a petition to the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, accusing their Director-General, Patrick Akpobolokemi of setting the agency on the “path of total destruction”.
The petition, a copy of which was obtained by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, was copied to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Head of Civil Services of the Federation, Chairman, Civil Service Commission, Chairman, Federal Character Commission, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transport (FMOT), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Productivity, Chairman and members of NIMASA Board of Directors.
“We wish to respectfully put forward a formal complaint to you sir, as protest on the current trend in Personal Management practice introduced by the present Executive Management of NIMASA in the name of reform by its administration.
“The Personal Management Style brought into the system is alien to both Public and Private Sector Personnel Management practice in Nigeria and, perhaps, beyond.
“From 2010 when the present Executive Management assumed office Appointments, Promotions and Disciplines took a new dimension that is not only dangerous but a path of total destruction of the system.
“The new approach introduced from 2010 turned logic upside down in personnel practice.
“It is on record that the Director General conducted Personal Management as a Personal and Private Affairs where all known procedures and relevant Establishment Regulations in decision making process are set aside,” the workers’ petition read in part.
The NIMASA staff accused Akpobolokemi of carrying out questionable staff recruitments through “a phantom consultancy outfit that had no clear understanding of Personal Management Practice in Public Service with respect to guidelines on Staff Appointments, Promotions and Discipline.”
They also accused the DG of paying the “phantom consultancy” firm “a whacking sum for the job that could easily be undertaken by the Human Resources Department and Establishment Committee of the Board of Directors” of the agency.
“The Consultant merely played out a script designed to block and stagnate existing officers of the Agency on GL 08 to 17.
“All the new employments made through this consultant never took into account the availability of vacancies and the status of the staff already on various grade levels,” the aggrieved workers stated.
They accused Akpobolokemi of not only populating the agency with his kinsmen but of elevating them over and above their qualifications and years of experience. They said the current disposition of Directors in the agency “is skewed towards a particular part of the country”, in negation of the Federal Character Principle.
See below the full letter and details of staff who they claim benefited from the lopsidedness of Akpobolokemi’s management.
4, Burma Road,
The Honourable Minister
Federal Ministry of Transport
Central Business District,
RE: COMPLAINT ABOUT ABSURD PERSONNAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICE BY THE EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT OF NIMASA.
We wish to respectfully put forward a formal complaint to you sir, as protest on the current trend in Personal Management practice introduced by the present Executive Management of NIMASAin the name of reform by its administration.
The Personal Management Style brought into the system is alien to both Public and Private Sector Personnel Management practice in Nigeria and, perhaps, beyond.
From 2010 when the present Executive Management assumed office Appointments, Promotions and Disciplinestook a new dimension that is not only dangerous but a path of total destruction of the system. The new approach introduced from 2010 turned logic upside down in personnel practice. It is on record that the Director General conducted Personal Management as a Personal and Private Affairswhere all known procedures and relevant Establishment Regulations in decision making process are set aside.This is evident in the following areas:
From 2010, the Director-general carried out questionable staff recruitments through a phantom consultancy outfit that has no clear understanding of Personal Management Practice in Public Service with respect toguidelines on Staff Appointments, Promotions and Discipline. The consultancy outfit was paid a whacking sum for the job that could usually beundertaken by Human Resources Department and Establishment Committee of the Board of Directors. The Consultant merely played out a script designed to block and stagnate existing officers of the Agency on GL 08 to 17. All the new employmentsmade through this consultant never took into account the availability of vacancies and the status of the staff already on various grade levels. This could be seen from the details contained inthe staff nominal roll as analysed:
Qualifications with Dates
Grade on Appt with Date
State of Origin
|EnsuohWarredi||Dipl (S&R) ‘2005Teaching Cert. 2005|
Comm Pilot 1999
|Felix Bob-Nabena||Bsc Bus’ 1994MBA 1998||GL 1624/12/10||Bayelsa||South-South|
|OtonyeObom||Bsc. Mgt 1998PGD 2009|
|UdoyeVicentChibueze||Ass Dip’ 1991Coc 1’ 1991|
Msc 1’ 1991
|Femowei Abel Gbendor||OND 1989Adv. Dip. 1989||GL 1621/01/13||Bayesla||South-South|
|OsamgbiIsichei Friday||BA 1992MLL 2005||GL 1611/01/12||Delta||South-South|
|Umoren S. Michael||MBA 2008Class 1 1998||GL 1621/01/14||AkwaIbom||South-South|
|KenekayoroEdougha Lawrence||Bsc Soc 1978MPA 1992||GL 1523/01/14||Bayelsa||South-South|
|Amakulo C. Chukwueka||M. Info Tech 2008B. Eng (E&E) 1997|
|Oyadiran J. Oyeniyi||Class 1 Coc 2011Class 2 2002||GL 1526/11/12||Oyo||South-West|
|James Eyo||OND 1987Class 1 2007||GL 1530/11/12||AkwaIbom||South-South|
|AbuhUgbede Williams||OND 1987Adv Dip 2003|
|Cpt Mohammed Nazif||PMTL 2009Msc 2014||GL 158/01/13||Bauchi||North-East|
|OweiErena||Class 2. 2004Class 1. 2009|
|Amula Arnold Ebipade||Class 2. 2005Class 1. 2008|
|Governor Juan Amechee||HND 1991||GL 154/3/13||Bayelsa||South-South|
|UmoOtongEkong Sunday||Class 1.1999Class 2.1993|
|Ugo Fredrick Ikiomotol||B.Tech 2002Msc. 2011||GL/1512/2/13||Bayelsa||South-South|
|UbongabasiIdorenyin||OND 1988Class 1.2008||GL/155/11/13||AkwaIbom||South-South|
|EdubioKiniyiEdet||ND 1994Class 1.2007||GL 1526/11/13||AkwaIbom||South-South|
|Elei GreenIgbogi||DIP 1989PGD 1996|
|Umar Edward Bobzom(contract Appt)||BSC 1989||GL 1522/7/13||Taraba||North East|
|Obowo David Egwu||Class 1||Gl 1512/12/13||Ebonyi||South-East|
|Elisha R. Audu||HND 1987PGD 2003|
Taking a closer look into the details of the newly recruited officers, one can easily see that in an ideal set up, none of the beneficiaries merited the positions given to them if based within the followings:-
- Entry Qualifications into Public Service
- Year of Graduation
- Stintin Public Service where applicable
- Federal Character Principle
On the other hand, all the career officers currently in the employment of the Agency are by qualifications and experience far above those newly employed.With these unjust actions, the career officers are either doomed to stagnate or theircareer truncated in preparation to lay them off, a policy contemplated for implementation in theSecond Quarter 2015. The details of this grand plan is clearly indicated in the staff nominal roll and is attached hereto as Annexure for guidance.
The most pathetic and scandalous conduct of the Executive Management under the Director-General, as regard staff promotions is also indicated in the selective approach based on who he loves and whohe hates. Some newly employed Assistant Directors and Deputy Directors were promoted to thenext grade level barely a year or so after their assumption of office in the Agency. The strategy adopted is by piecemeal postings and periodic staff movement in acting capacity for some officers from one Department to another under the guise of repositioning exercise. After a little while (usually not up to one year), the favoured officers will be presented for confirmation to a Substantive Grade Level. The following examples suffice:
- 1. EnsuohWarredi
As indicated on the above table, this officer was employed as a Deputy Director GL 16 on 01/07/2011 in the Department of Maritime safety but 6 months later was redeployed to the Shipping Development Department as Acting Director to replace a Substantive Director. Interestingly by 16/12/13, less than 2 years, he was confirmed a Substantive Director.
- 2. Vincent Udoye
This officer was also recruited with effect from 21/01/2013 asDeputy Director with no qualifications and experience to earn him that position. In a similar style of impurity the officer’s appointment was claimed to be reviewed and placed on GL 17 with effect from 01/03/2015 just less than one week to a scheduled promotion interview in which he is to a schedule provocation interview in which he is to compete with career officers. We attach as Annexure to this protest the memo conveying the Decision of the Executive Management.
- 3. Felix Brisbe Bob-Nabena
This officer was equally appointed as Deputy Director GL16, as SA-DG, with effect from 24/12/2010 but this was tied to the tenure of the Political Appointment of the Director General. It is also necessary to state that this officer was a mere contract staff with Shell Company and that his release from the Shell Company wasfor a period of just 4 years. It should be pointed outthat even in Shell Company; he is not permanent and pensionable employee of the company. At the expiration of his tenure and with the availability of an established vacancy for a post of Director in the Agency, he has since been redeployed to assume that office in preparation for confirmation as a Substantive Director. This move was designed for implementation despite the availability of Pool of Career Officers that is eligible to occupy that position. We also attached as Annexure, a Memo to that effect from the office of the Director General.
At this point, the Hon. Minister may interest you to note that in line with extant practice in Public Service Promotion exams are usually conducted for eligible officers from one grade level to the other. The provision of condition of service of the Agency has also clearly provided for conduct of promotion exams for officers that were eligible for promotion more especially for those on GL 08 – 17. Another round of promotion exams was scheduled for 4th March, 2015 in which this officeris NOT eligible to participate but in a clever move his appointment was swiftly reviewed and placed on the post of Director GL 17 with effect from 1st March, 2015 (effective date is on Sunday). This is all in an attempt to preserve the position for him despite the fact that he is not even qualified to be placed on GL 16 on account of his qualifications and experience.
From the foregoing Personnel Management Practice, we submit hereunder the current this position of the Directors in the Agency for proper appreciation of the Magnitude of Damage done to the system.
CURRENT DEPOSITION OF DIRECTORS IN NIMASA.
State of Origin
Geo Political Zone
|Maritime Labour||J. A. Gunwa||17||Kogi||N/Central|
|Maritime Safety||Vincent Udoye||17||Imo||S/East|
|Admin & Pers.||Felix Bob-Nabena||Acting (16)||Bayelsa||S/South|
|Cabotage||Umoren S. Michael||Acting (16)||AkwaIbom||S/South|
|MEM||M. B. Adewale||Acting (16)||Oyo||S/West|
|Financial Services||Dele Ejekukor||Acting (15)||Delta||S/South|
|Legal||Rita Uruakpa||Acting (15)||Enugu||S/East|
The Disposition of Heads of Autonomous Units in the Agency similarly reflects above pattern.
The issue of Staff Disciplinary Action against erring staff has become worrisome in the sense that the Executive Management has adopted a style of humiliation against some set of staff that are allegedly perceived either being sympatheticto one Political Party or the other. In addition, staff that are eligible for promotion and been denied were always framed up with Phantom charges that are not verifiable whatsoever in order to silence them. Such allegations like late coming, divulging of corporate secrets to the Press, the National Assembly and inciting staff against the Management were the usual charges by the Director General.
In the light of the foregoing, we wish to call for the humane intervention of the Honourable Minister by investigating these and related complaints in the interest of the public service and Nigeria at large. We therefore pray:-
- That all staff recruitment in the agency from 2010 to date should be investigated and reviewed in line with the extant practice in Public Services.
- That the celebrated recruitment exercise carried out by a consultant, Messrs Reener and Reener at a very prohibitive cost should be thoroughly investigated.
- That all cases of selective promotions either based on Acting Appointment Syndromeor review of appointment should be nullified and that a formal promotion exercise should be carried out through relevant Establishment Committees of the Agency.
- That all cases of staff stagnation should be looked into by a committee whose membership should been drawn up fromNIMASA,FMOT, OHCSF, CSC and FEDERAL CHARACTER COMMISSION.
- That the commissioning of a consultant (Reener and Reener) with attendant costs whose outcome is questionable should be thoroughly investigated for the purposes of Accountability and Transparency.
- That Appointments into GL 15 and above should not be based on political or ethnic consideration rather should be based on Career Development and Progression as practice in Public Services.
- That the current disposition of Directors is skewed towards a particular part of the country which is negation of Federal Character Principle.
- That in the interest of justice and fairplay, disposition of Directors in the Agency should reflect the current reality in the country.
- That the grand design to eliminate certain section of the workforce either on ethnic or regional should not be allowed or encouraged in the Agency.
- That Disciplinary matter should be based on prima facie cases and not as a tool of humiliation and intimidation of innocent officers who are not likeable by present Executive Management.
Accept our highest consideration please.
CONCERNED STAFF of NIMASA
On behalf of the NIMASA staff.
– Head of Civil Services of the Federation
– Chairman, Civil Service Commission
– Chairman, Federal Character Commission
– Permanent Secretary (FMOT)
– Permanent Secretary (Ministry of Labour& Productivity)
– Chairman, NIMASA Board of Directors
– All Board Members of NIMASA
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