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Legislators slam NIMASA over unsafe waterways

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Dakuku Peterside, NIMASA Boss

The House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration has slammed the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Ministry of Transportation for failure to properly secure Nigerian waterways against crime.

The Chairman of the committee, Mohammed Umar Bago, who led members on an oversight visit to NIMASA headquarters in Lagos yesterday, said the agency has failed in its responsibilities of providing “serious coastal security and patrol” on Nigerian waters.

According to him, the committee was taken on real-time service, where they saw some people doing illegal ship-to-ship transfer, but it is rather unfortunate that the agency was unable to stop this due to lack of capacity.

“We are asking NIMASA to step up its game, if its resources they want, we will make it available to them appropriately but we should wake up to the reality. We must protect our coastal waters and give our indigenous businessmen opportunity to do their businesses,” he said.

Commenting on the agency’s N161.9 billion 2017 budget, Bago said the House of Representatives would give the agency a zero allocation in the 2018 budget, if its 2017 capital budget is not fully expended.

Bago had claimed the agency utilised “less than 10 per cent of the capital budget,” but the Director-General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, immediately disagreed, saying that it has expended 80 per cent of its allocation on capital project.

Peterside said: “I think we didn’t quite get the chairman. We have made over 80 per cent accomplishment of the capital budget provision, although we have challenges because we have to go through the regimented procurement process but I believe that we should be able to get to 100 per cent, but if we can’t get to 100 per cent, I believe 80 per cent accomplishment is good enough.”

On the coastal security, he said the agency has put in place a number of initiatives to curtail insecurity on the waterways.


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