5% MAN Allocation Meeting
NIMASA Poorly Represented
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
Tongues were set wagging yesterday at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, where an unidentified junior staff represented the Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) at a meeting scheduled to hold at the Academy, at the instance of the Ministry of Transportation.
The Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemi Saraki hinted that the meeting was called to look into the allocation, way and manners of disbursement of the statutory five percent allocation of NIMASA’s revenue to MAN for its funding.
Senator Saraki who spoke yesterday after commissioning landmark projects at MAN noted that that the way and manner of disbursement of the statutory funding from NIMASA to the Academy is currently unimpressive and not working as expected.
She said the ministry is minded to look into the issues with a view to resolving all the grey areas, further noting that the allocation to MAN is not a favour ride given by NIMASA but a statutory duty.
According to the Minister of State for Transportation, “Very soon, you will all hear how we are going to handle the issue of prompt release of the statutory five percent funding from NIMASA to the Maritime Academy.
“There has been a misunderstanding for long over the issue of five percent from NIMASA to the Academy. There seems to be a misunderstanding on the part of NIMASA on how those funds should be given. The fund is not supposed to be released at NIMASA’s pleasure. It should not be that NIMASA will dictate how and when the money should be released. It is not for NIMASA to oversight the release of the funding. That should be the Federal Ministry of Transportation’s headache. The law says NIMASA should give X amount to the Maritime Academy quarterly.
“We will be looking at the system and see how it’s been done because obviously, the way NIMASA is handling it is currently not working.
She continues: “We will not allow a situation where the Academy will have to go begging before the five percent funding is released. We will be looking at finding a way to ensure that this ridiculous problem goes away.”
It was observed that neither the Director General of NIMASA nor any of it’s Executive Directors but an unknown junior official was sent to represent the DG NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, at such a high calibre meeting.
The Minister of State also explained that the meeting also planned to look at the courses being run by the Academy, with a view to seeking ways for improvement.
She expressed her satisfaction with the positive turn around of the Academy which she said has been put on proper international standing to compete globally, she said the next stage is to market the country’s maritime potentials to attract foreign exchange and be seeing to be leading within the sub region and continent.
“The whole point of today’s visit is to see how we can improve the school curriculum and the courses that they offer.
“I am here to discuss with everybody to see how we can improve the school, and that is why I came with the Chairman, House Committee on Marine Transport, Honourable Lynda Ikpeazu.
“On seafarers training, currently the Philippines are global leaders for now. However, with what is happening at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria as of today, we want to dominate in the area of seafaring provision on the African continent.
“We are looking at the number of seafarers that we are training and how we can dominate the profession in Africa.
“Yes, the Philippines are global leaders in the world right now, but with what is happening at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, we want to dominate the African continent in terms of seafarers provision.
“We have competitions in the sub-region. We have Ghana, Togo and others. We want to dominate the provision of seafarers in the continent, and we cannot afford to rest on our oars.”