The Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Jamoh has explained why it has taken so long for the agency to issue biometric identity cards to dockworkers operating in the nation’s maritime industry.
Recall that the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, had severally lamented the non-issuance of biometric identity cards to dock workers for more than 10 years.
He had noted that the lack of biometric identity cards has brought incessant embarrassment of mistaken identity to genuine dock workers in the sector, while blaming NIMASA for the pilfering of cargoes at various terminals.
However, speaking exclusively to Shipping Position Daily last week in Lagos, the Director General NIMASA, blamed the archaic and obsolete state of the biometric machines as the reason for the delay.
He although noted that approval has been given for re-issuance of the identity cards, he assured that the union will soon get the biometric identity cards, urging its members to exercise little more patience.
“We just gave approval for that, what happened was that the machines and equipment are obsolete, so we have ordered new ones, so very soon it should be ready, so I think if they exercise a little more patience very soon we will start issuing that” he assured.
Meanwhile the Director-General of NIMASA) has frowned at the early retirement scheme of the agency which allows senior officers to opt for early retirement.
The scheme, also known as “golden handshake”, is part of the agency’s condition of service that is set aside for staff on grade levels 15 to 17 with less than five years in service.
The practice of “golden handshake”, though not new in NIMASA, has been activated twice during the tenure of the immediate past DG, Dr Dakuku Peterside and Patrick Akpobolokemi.
But, latest development in NIMASA has shown that the Deputy Director, Public Relations of the agency, Philips Kyanet, and 23 others are exiting the agency to take advantage of the voluntary retirement scheme.
However, speaking last week during the send forth party for Kyanet, the NIMASA DG said he did not believe or encourage early retirement schemes, saying it rubbed off on the agency of experienced professionals.
According to him, none of the retiring senior officers can say that they were forced to leave the service, adding that he personally frowns at the “golden handshake”.
According to him, Kyanet is an asset to the agency, a very reliable and honest gentleman that would continue to be remembered by the PR department and the agency.
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Also, serving Directors as well as retired ones including media men who were at the occasion also spoke glowingly about him.
They all agreed that he was a very professional public relations officer, as well as a dependable worker.
The Special Assistant on Communications and Strategy to the NIMASA DG, Mr Ubong Essien, described Kyanet as a well experienced PR officer and a delight to work with.
The former Director of Special Duties in the agency and Head of the PR Unit, Hajia Lami Tumaka, said Kyanet was a quintessential gentleman and a very professional officer.
The Deputy Director, Special Duties, NIMASA, Mr Isichei Osamgbi, said Kyanet was a master in crafting press releases, adding that he was very valuable and a stabilizing factor to the PR Unit.
Responding, Kyanet expressed gratitude to the DG for appointing him to head the PR Unit and for encouraging him to succeed.
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