Several senior staff members of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have raised allegations of nepotism against the agency’s Director General, Bashir Jamoh.
According to some staff members who spoke with SHIPS & PORTS recently, Jamoh has consistently appointed individuals from the northern region to occupy key positions within the agency since assuming office in March 2020.
Investigations carried out by SHIPS & PORTS have revealed that all four zones of NIMASA, including the Abuja Office, are currently led by individuals from the northern region. The zones consist of the Western Zone in Lagos, the Central Zone in Warri, the Eastern Zone in Port Harcourt, and the Northern Zone in Jos.
At present, the NIMASA Western Zone is headed by Kabir Munai from Katsina State, the Central Zone in Warri is headed by Bappa M. Musa from Borno State, the Eastern Zone is headed by Yusuf Barde from Katsina State, and the Northern Zone is headed by Waibe Auta from Plateau State. Additionally, the NIMASA Abuja Office is led by Musa Zalani Attah from Adamawa State.
Moreover, nearly all of the Port Service Controllers (PSC) in the various zones, except for one, are individuals from the northern region. For instance, in the Western Zone, Sani Zaria oversees Apapa, and Abubakar Jiga is responsible for Ibeju Lekki.
In the Eastern Zone, Nuhu Umar is the PSC for Port Harcourt, Mohammed Ibrahim covers Onne, and Ibrahim Umar manages Calabar. Dappa M. Musa from Borno State, who heads the Central Zone, also acts as the Port Service Controller for Ohgara, Sapele, Burutu, and Forcadoes. Out of the seven existing PSCs in the agency, only one, Chizoba Anyika (Tin Can Island Port), hails from the southern region.
A senior staff member of NIMASA, who preferred to remain anonymous due to concerns about potential repercussions from the Director General, expressed, “In most cases, these individuals were not the most senior or qualified for their positions when they were appointed.
NIMASA has never been so deeply divided along religious and tribal lines. The significant question that needs to be raised is: why are all the Heads of the NIMASA Zones, which are situated in the south, exclusively from the northern region?”
“Because he is married to former President Muhammadu Buhari’s niece and because his first daughter is married to the former President’s nephew, the DG thinks he is above the law. Perhaps because the former President elevated him above his peers from the position of an Assistant Director to that of an Executive Director and later to Director-General, Bashir Jamoh thinks he can do anything and get away with it.”
The staff members have also alleged that Jamoh has marginalized the three Executive Directors who were appointed to work alongside him in the Executive Management Team of the agency. They claim that since assuming the role of Director General of the agency three years ago, Jamoh has been operating NIMASA as if it were his possession, promoting nepotism and disregarding the principles of fair governance.
They are urging President Bola Tinubu to intervene by initiating a staff audit and launching an investigation into the activities and management of the agency under Jamoh’s leadership.