• DG descends on ‘Akpobolokemi boys’
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is currently embroiled in a crisis over plans by the Director General of the agency; Dr Dakuku Peterside to carry-out what he called right-sizing and down-sizing of its employees.
Sources told our correspondent last week, that what the Management is calling right sizing is an attempt to downgrade some senior personnel, who are perceived to have joined the agency in the last six to seven years and whose present positions are believed to be unmerited.
Even though no one was willing to openly discuss it, our correspondent sighted a directive from the National Assembly in which the Senate ordered that the decision be suspended, pending investigations.
It was confirmed that some of those who are likely to be affected by the exercise had used their influences in the National Assembly to truncate the plans.
Further enquiries revealed that most of those affected were employed during the tenure of the immediate past DG; Mr Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi. He was removed as DG in 2015, and replaced with Dakuku Peterside.
Shipping Position Daily confirmed that some of them are in the cadre of Directors, Deputy Director and Assistant Director.
A senior personnel of NIMASA who pleaded not to be identified, explained that the right-sizing issue has been on for a while and that, “it is an attempt to weed out those who are still considered as Akpobolokemi boys”.
“You see, some people who were considered as professionals were employed under the former DG, they came from different national and multinational organisations, and they were placed in positions that were thought to be commensurate with the cognate experiences”, he told our correspondent last week.
He however acknowledged that some may have been placed on grade levels that were not commensurate with their qualifications and years of experience. He gave an example of one of them who was allegedly dismissed from service.
According to another source, a similar thing happened during the tenure of the former DG, when some senior officers within the ranks of director and deputy director were asked to be paid-off.
The source recalled that: “Some of the affected officers were intimidated to resign and paid severance benefits. Some of those being hounded now were beneficiaries of the Akpobolokemi act.
He stated that, unless the current management is prevailed upon, the affected officers may soon be downgraded.
When contacted, the deputy director, public relations at NIMASA; Mr Isichei Osamgbi hesitantly told our correspondent that he was not aware of any right sizing in the agency. He pleaded to be given time to respond.