FG Fires Akpobolokemi, NIMASA DG | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FG Fires Akpobolokemi, NIMASA DG

Posted: Jul 17, 2015 at 8:20 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Andrew Airahuobhor and 

Chesa Chesa  –  Abuja


President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday sacked the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi, the man who broke the jinx of instability in the agency.

The termination of Akpobolokemi’s appointment took immediate effect, according to a terse press statement by Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

His sack is coming barely seven months after his second four-year term was renewed by President Goodluck Jonathan, with effect from December 23, 2014, conveyed via a letter dated October 13, 2014 and signed by Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The reappointment was widely acclaimed as recognition of his outstanding performance as the DG/CEO of NIMASA, the first in the history of the Agency.

Akpobolokemi is the first DG to serve out a term of four years in office since the agency was established via the NIMASA Act of 2007, following the merger of Nigerian Maritime Authority (NMA) established in 1987, with Joint Maritime Labour Industrial Council (JOMALIC). The agency has had the misfortune of high turnover of chief executives totalling 19 in 26 years. Akpobolokemi is the fifth since 2007.

According to Adesina on Thursday, Akpobolokemi “is to hand over the management of NIMASA and all government property in his possession to the most senior officer in the agency who will remain in charge until a new Director-General is appointed.”

The ex-NIMASA DG is reputed to have repositioned the maritime sector and made it an important pillar in the nation’s economy. His activities resulted in a new wave of improved maritime safety and security, creating an enabling environment for maritime business as a great contributor to the nation’s economy to thrive, a remarkable development that has been widely acknowledged by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

He passionately drove the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), a scheme designed by the Agency to grow capacity to fill existing gaps for qualified manpower in the maritime sector. Under NSDP, NIMASA sponsored over 2,500 Nigerian youths to training in recognized maritime universities in the United Kingdom, Philippines, India, Egypt, Romania and Malaysia.

The capacity building initiatives of Akpobolokemi’s leadership have also resulted in the setting up of Institutes of Maritime Studies in the University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai, Niger State and Niger Delta University, Amasoma, Bayelsa State as a way of boosting manpower training in the long run. This is in addition to the establishment of a Nigerian Maritime University and NIMASA Shipyard and Dockyard, in Okerenkoko, NIMASA Science and Technical College, Okoloba, Delta State.

Under his leadership, NIMASA achieved full maritime domain awareness through enhanced surveillance of the maritime environment with the introduction of a satellite surveillance system covering the entire Gulf of Guinea and beyond.

The Agency has also procured various platforms and electronic surveillance equipment through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement for a round-the-clock monitoring of the Nigerian maritime domain.

Akpobolokemi’s zeal to create a safe and secure shipping environment, led to the working agreements with the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force towards ridding the maritime domain of all forms of piracy and related crimes.

President Muhammadu Buhari also on Thursday dissolved the Governing Boards of federal Parastatals, Agencies and Institutions in the country.

Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, announced in a press statement that ?until the boards are reconstituted, Chief Executive Officers of the affected bodies are to refer all matters requiring the attention of their Boards to the President, through the Permanent Secretaries of their supervising ministries.

Adesina further explained that “while the dissolution does not affect Federal Executive Bodies listed in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it covers administrative or technical committees and other similar organs established by the now dissolved boards.”