Lagos – Dr Dakuku Peterside on Tuesday assumed duty as the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
This is contained in statement made available to newsmen in Lagos by the Head of Public Relations Department of NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka.
It said that the director-general, on arrival at the NIMASA Head Office in Apapa, Lagos, immediately went into a closed door meeting with members of the senior management of the agency.
According to the statement, Peterside, who observed that he was aware there were competent hands in the agency, solicited the cooperation of the staff to reposition the agency for greater productivity.
It noted that the director-general said he was in NIMASA to serve the nation and humanity.
statement said the director-general expressed his readiness to partner all stakeholders with a view to positively impacting the maritime sector and the Nigerian economy at large.
The Federal Government had on Thursday last week appointed Peterside as the director-general of NIMASA for a four-year term, the statement said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the appointment of Peterside was greeted by maritime operators including shipowners and mariners with mixed feelings.
A former Minister of Interior, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho, said that indigenous ship owners would support Peterside.
Iheanacho, Chairman, Genesis Shipping Worldwide, told NAN that the new director-general would do well to court the support of
indigenous shipping, adding that the ship owners would fully support him.
“It is our hope that he would concentrate his efforts in a genuine attempt to grow indigenous capacity through a judicious use of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), ’’ NAN quotes the mariner as saying.
He said that the new director-general must make Cabotage provisions work.
Iheanacho explained that Peterside would need to understand the difference and the distinction between the administrative responsibilities for the safety ofFinancing and security of the maritime environment.
A former Director-General of the defunct NMA, Mr John Egesi, said that “there is a golden lining somewhere in the appointment of Peterside and his qualifications’’.
“Peterside studied Management. He did an MBA and read Economics and Maritime has a lot to do with Economics,’’ Egesi told NAN
The former NMA director-general said that when he looked at the appointment of Peterside with his language of Management Economics, he would understand quicker.
“His knowledge of Management Economics gives him an advantage,’’ Egesi told NAN.
A former Government Inspector of Ships (GIS) and Acting Chairman, Society of Nigerian Mariners (SNM), Mr Olu Akinsoji, had a different view.
“My very serious advice is that both the minister and the new director-general of NIMASA should quickly strengthen their offices with qualified advisers to restructure the agency to perform its functions.
“It (NIMASA) is presently structured for revenue collection,’’ Akinsoji, a former Nigeria’s Alternate Permanent Representative at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) told NAN.
The mariner recalled that his office as the Government Inspector of Ships was merged with the defunct National Maritime Authority (NMA) to create NIMASA.
Akinsoji, who was also a former Sole Administrator of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom, faulted the appointment of Dr Dakuku Peterside as the Director-General of the agency.
He said that the qualifications of Peterside did not fit the post.
“The law is very clear on who is qualified to be engaged for that post.
“It is equally clear by simple interpretation that the qualification of the honourable (Peterside) does not fit into the interpretation.
“I wish Peterside a pleasant and successful journey through the maritime domain,’’ the marine engineer said. (NAN)