[dropcap]A[/dropcap]gency set to sack Professionals Employed By Jonathan’s Administration
There is an uneasy calm and anxiety at the Nigerian Maritime Administration And Safety Agency (NIMASA), following what an insider said is the penciling down for sack of some key professionals from the agency.
The development which is generating so much tension is believed to pose a likely serious danger to Nigeria’s Marine operations in the country if not quickly checked and nipped in the bud.
Persecond News gathered from a credible source close to the management of the NIMASA that already, the governing board based on political directive from the Ministry of Transport last week approved the demotion of professionals employed during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
This is even as it was gathered that the professionals that are now penciled down for either sack or demotion were recruited from the private sector to give a boost to the needed professionalism required by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), in which Nigeria was seen to have been deficient some years back.
Investigations revealed that the proper placement (demotion) and sack agenda is being worked out with the office of the Head of Service, HoS, currently enmeshed in the Maina recall scandal.
One of the affected professionals, told our correspondent on condition of anonymity that he was surprised that positions that were duly advertised and for which applicants went through all the hiring process and were employed are now being giving a political undertone.
According to him; “We have been working until the minister set up a committee to downgrade and sack some of us employed during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. Why should we be brought into political differences between politicians and the former president?”
However, in a letter dated December 16, 2016, the Senate committee on Employment, Labor and Productivity described the process as not only flawed, illegal and gross abuse of power but null and void.
Similarly, the Senate committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions which looked into petitions that were addressed to it, equally upheld the decision of its sister committee.
But, in spite of the decision of the Senate Committees, the management of NIMASA based on directive from the ministry has refused to listen thus commenced a secret sack and downgrading of most of the professionals.
Curiously, while the NIMASA management is bent on sacking some of the professionals, it quickly promoted one Olu Aladenusi from the position of Chief to an Assistant Director in the Marine Engineering Survey. This is seen to be compensation for the “Good boy” he played as a member of the Ministerial Committee that was set up by the minister of Transport for the purpose of sacking the professionals.
The elevated Olu Aladenusi is believed to have no prerequisite qualification as a Marine Engineer to occupy such a position, according to a dozen of staff who spoke to Per Second News. In addition to his lack of needed requirement, Aladenusi is alleged to have been dismissed from the Nigerian Navy for forgery just as he was said to have been involved in examination malpractice in Ghana Maritime Academy and also alleged to be actively involved in Ships Certificate racketeering in NIMASA, according to some staff, speaking under the condition of anonymity.
Based on the petitions before the Senate, some staff of NIMASA pleaded with the upper chamber of the National Assembly to take a critical look at the qualifications and competence of two staff who were members of the Ministerial Committee that submitted a Report on Proper Placement and Sponsors for the Removal of the Maritime Professionals in NIMASA.
The petitioners further alleged that 60% of NIMASA staff have no idea about the core functions of the agency adding that most of the staff have no idea of what the International Maritime Administration is all about, its relationship with NIMASA, core functions and the caliber of professionals required to carry out the functions
They therefore requested the Senate to ask why the panel that was set up about a year ago to investigate allegations against Olu Aladenusi is yet to sit more than one year after it was set up.
They also urged the Senate to take a look at the elevation of Mr. Patrick Aigbe, who they accused of being actively involved in Ships Survey Certificate racketeering in NIMASA, from Grade Level 14 to Assistant Director in-charge of Western Zone without basic foundation as a Marine Engineer.
They concluded that the two elevated Assistant Directors do not have Marine Chief Engineer Certificate of Competency from either Nigeria or any other country.
The petitioners’ also alleged that one Mr Bashir Jamoh, who is married to the cousin of President Muhammadu Buhari with a Diploma certificate is the brain behind most of the crises in NIMASA adding that the entire management of NIMASA see him as untouchable.
Accordingly, the same Bashir Jamoh was promoted from Assistant Director to the exalted position of Executive Director while his seniors and those with higher qualifications are now answerable to him.
A senior director in the know said ” The minister signed in error that I can tell you, they bundled the report seeking the demotion and sack of some professionals with the promotion report and unknowingly the minister approved without the full knowledge of the content of the report.”
Attempts by Persecond News to get the Head, Corporate Communications of NIMASA, Mr Isichei Osamgbi to respond to the issues raised were unsuccessful as request sent to his email address was not responded to 24 hours after.