Exclusive: NIMASA Boils As Acting DG, Executive Director In Cold War
There are strong indications that all is not well between the acting Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Haruna Jauro and his Executive Directors, Transport & Maritime Online can authoritatively report.
The Acting DG and the ED, Maritime Labour and Cabotage services, Calistus Obi have both not enjoyed good relationship since Jauro assumed office as acting DG in July 2015.
NIMASA management team consists of the acting DG, Baba Haruna Jauro; Barr. Obi Callistus Nwabueze, Executive Director, Maritime Labour & Cabotage Services and Capt. Ezekiel Agaba, Executive Director, Maritime Safety & Shipping Development.
The Executive Management team is responsible for the definition, development and execution of the strategy that conforms with the regulatory, promotional and Administration of the Agency.
Recall that when President Muhammadu Buhari sacked the embattled immediate past DG of the agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi, he was asked to hand-over to the most senior officer but Akpobolokemi handed over to Calistus Obi who at that time was one of the few loyal ‘EDs’ to Akpobolokemi.
But, Obi was asked to vacate the post for Jauro four days after on basis of seniority.
Although Obi and Jauro, were appointed the same day (July 24, 2012), Jauro was the first person to report for work.
According to Civil Service rules, Jauro is the senior of the two, hence his confirmation as acting DG.
Jauro, it was gathered, sent a formal complaint to the Ministry of Transport as well as Office of the Head of Service of the Federation.
The protest letter was acted upon and the Presidency was said to have ordered that the right thing be done.
However, since Obi handed-over to Jauro, things have not been going on well between the two officers that Obi was left out of schedule of things in the agency.
Speaking on this issue, a very reliable source confided in our correspondent that Obi has been relegated to the background by the acting DG.
The source said the acting DG had schemed Obi out of happenings in the agency thereby running it as a sole administrator.
Giving an instance, the source said during the visit of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi to NIMASA resource centre and Head office in December, Calistus Obi was not briefed about the coming of the minister and was not briefed until the night to the visit of Amaechi.
The source said, “Barr. Obi was sad about the way the acting DG was ill-composed when the minister came.
“During the visit, the acting DG was seen not to be composed and Obi was very disappointed. Infact, I saw him discussing with one female Director complaining bitterly on how he was schemed out of activities and kept in the dark about the Minister’s visit.”
According to the source, Obi got the notice of Minister’s visit a day to the visit and the management was ill-prepared.
However, another source in the agency reliably told TRANSPORT & MARITIME ONLINE that the acting DG was not disposed to seeing Obi around him.
She said, “Obi was believed to be loyal to ex-DG, Akpobolokemi so Jauro is not always comfortable seeing him around him so he decided to blank him out.”
Moreover, since the minister’s visit in December, Obi has not been seen in any public event with the acting DG.
For instance, Obi was not present when Senate Committee on Marine Transportation headed by Sen. Ahmed Sani Yerima visited the agency, Obi was absent Eventhough other EDs’ were present at the visit.
Also, when House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration led by Hon. Bago Mohammed Umaru visited the agency, Obi was absent leaving stakeholders to wonder whether all is well between the acting DG and members of his management team.
When the Acting DG received the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Needs Assessment Team at the Headquarters of the Agency, in Lagos early this year, Calistus Obi was also absent.
Effort to get the reaction of the Deputy Director, Public Relations of the agency Hajia Lami Tumaka proved abortive as calls placed on her phone were not connected.