...Advises Agency to Stop Focusing on Revenue Collection
A former Government Inspector of Ships (GIS), Mr Olu Akinsoji has alleged that there is a major wastage of government resources going on in the apex maritime agency in Nigeria; Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)
Akinsoji made the allegation last week at an industry event while delivering a paper on how major government parastatals in the maritime sector can be repositioned for optimal performance.
The former Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron Akwa Ibom State noted that for instance Cabotage Development and Shipping Development is currently splitted under two Executives in NIMASA, meanwhile it ought to be handle by one single expert because both are the same.
Akinsoji called for a major restructuring of the apex agency, saying that Dock labour should be returned to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) as it is conflicting with seafarers training and development.
According to him, the process of developing seafarers is totally different from dock labour, but that both have been lumped under an executive in NIMASA. He said Seafarers concerns is under the jurisdiction of International Maritime Organization (IMO) while dock labour is under the International Labour Organization (ILO)
He said NIMASA is not created to be a revenue collecting agency and that this action alone is distracting the agency from its main functions of shipping development.
He also advised that the process of collecting the 2% Cabotage fee as well as other fees should be done by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as an organ of the government that warehouses the money.
He said "There is this undue focus on revenue collection process, I have suggested that NIMASA as the key agency in the maritime sector should not be involved in revenue. Based on my experience and my age, the agency does not need to be involved in collecting money, the Nigerian system is not as bad as we think, it is very good compared to many other developed countries"
"The money generated goes to Central Bank, why do we need to set up a structure when we can allow the Central Bank to remit %3 of freight they are disbursing into the account of NIMASA, all you need is a unit in NIMASA finance department to chase defaulters to another structure outside NIMASA, because whatever they don't pay is assumed that they are owing the government, so NIMASA don't need to worry itself, this action alone is distracting the agency from its main functions"
"The structure they have put in place to me is a wastage, it is a duplication of another structure that exists somewhere else in the system"
Akinsoji stressed that "By putting Cabotage under one executive and putting shipping development in another executive is to send signal to people like us that Shipping and Cabotage development are two different things but they are the same"
"Shipping development and Cabotage should be placed under one executive while Safety and Security should be placed under another executive, by this, we would have professionals that are competent to handle these departments"
"Dock labour should be given back to the NPA, it is conflicting with seafarers training and development, the process of developing seafarers is totally different, seafarers is IMO while dock labour is ILO, all these are making things difficult"
"When you reposition then you can expect better optimal performance" he said