A financial statement of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) shows that its Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamo spent about N1,975,851,513.78 on training while N178,815,723.2 was made on advertising and promotions between 2020 and 2022
Dr. Jamo, who was appointed Director General of NIMASA in March 2020, has been accused of financial irregularities.
In July 2022, the Senate, through its Public Accounts Panel, ordered the arrest of Dr. Jamo for allegedly paying $5 million to a law firm as professional fees to recover a $9.3 billion loss.
$5 million was paid for intelligence-based tracking of global movement of Nigerian hydrocarbons and recovery of losses by the Federal Government of Nigeria for $9.3 billion between 2013 and 2014.
The chairman of the committee, Senator Matthew Urhogbide, while briefing newsmen, then expressed displeasure with the agency over the non-appearance of NIMASA before the panel, saying the panel had no option but to issue an arrest warrant for the NIMASA DG.
He said: “We invited NIMASA up to three times but they did not honor our invitations. This committee has no option but to issue an arrest warrant against the agency’s director general. They can come to the National Assembly for appropriations, but when the time comes to account, they won’t be there.”
Recently the former Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside admitted while shedding more light on the ongoing investigation into NIMASA by the House of Representatives into the alleged awarding of dubious and bogus contracts, fraudulent foreign exchange transactions, unilateral appointment of directors among others, said some of them happened before him, during his tenure, while others happened under the current Director General Dr. Bashir Jamo.
Former House Minority Leader Hon. Kingsley Chinda had tabled a motion during a plenary session in July regarding several allegations of dubious, inflated and fictitious awarding of contracts at NIMASA, particularly on non-operational speedboats, security surveillance contracts and the Deep Blue project.
But Peterside, in an interview with the Tribune, stated that “… I can say with confidence that some happened before my tenure as director general; some happened during my tenure as CEO while others happened after my tenure as CEO.
“Now to dispel the allegations about the withholding of Remita revenue by some companies, this happened before I became the Director General of NIMASA. The companies involved include Gas Shipping Nigeria Limited, Daddo Marine Limited, Blue Seas Marine Services and TransOcean Support Services Limited. This withholding of revenue from Remita happened before I became the Director General of NIMASA. These are questions we’ve dealt with before.
“The MPs also talked about the Public Procurement Evaluation Act. Lawmakers said some companies had violated the procurement process. This happened under the current Director General of NIMASA, Bashir Jamo, although I don’t think it is true. Participating companies include COT Engineering Limited, Well Mann Construction Company Limited, Retin Technical and Commercial Service Limited, Messrs. DePK Ventures Limited, among others.
“The deputies also talked about currency, but you know that we do not deal with currency. Perhaps the lawmakers are not aware that since the TSA started, NIMASA cannot deal with foreign currency again. After TSA, the foreign exchange goes directly to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).”
However, a financial statement obtained by our correspondent showed that Jamoh spent N53,873,120 on transport and logistics in three years between 2020 and 2022. N103,647,355.9 was only spent on ancillary costs within the three years, while N2 ,605,197,235.3 were spent on recurrent expenditure.
A breakdown of the budget allocation from 2020 to 2022 showed that there was systematic budget inflation under Jammo’s leadership compared to his predecessor’s budget allocation.
In 2019, the agency’s running expenditure stood at N98,841,229.36 while its total budget was N27,000,211,229.36. For the year, the staff cost budget was N4,586,909.36 but in 2020 when Dr. Jamoh took over, the staff cost budget was increased to N26,654,139; in 2021, the staff cost budget was increased to N57,766,906.98, while in 2022, the staff cost budget was increased again to N140,012,975.50.
Like staff costs, every other item from training to transportation and logistics to advertising and promotions and more has risen astronomically under Jamoh.
In 2019, the ancillary expenditure was N2,504,000 while in 2020 it was increased to N39,276,725; in 2021 it was increased to N76,195,000.90 and in 2022 it went up to N56,751,130.94.
It was noted that training costs were increased under Jamoh’s leadership to over 500 percent of the previous leadership.
For example, according to the financial statement, in 2019, the training expenditure was pegged at N66,494,000; in 2020 when Jamoh took over, it went up to N143,998,167.50. In 2021, it was increased to over N1.6 billion and in 2022 it dropped to N149,541,483.46.
According to sources, Bashir Jamo is married to former President Muhammadu Buhari’s niece and his first daughter is married to Buhari’s nephew.
One of the sources who spoke to Ships & Ports in a report seen by SaharaReporters said: “For almost 8 years no one, not even Rt. Honorable Rotimi Amaechi (Former Minister of Transport) aka Dr. Dakuku Peterside managed to challenge Dr. Bashir Jamo because of his relationship with Muhammadu Buhari through his nephew “Tunde” which led to a lot of mismanagement and mismanagement of the Agency sending the Agency 20 years ago. “
“Our very reliable source, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells us that in the last 7 plus years, Dr. Bashir has secretly recruited about 500 Nigerians into the Agency without due process – no newspaper advertisement, no written oral interviews, most applicants just are notified to resume and start documentation.
“The job slots have just been distributed among the executive directors, board members of NIMASA and some power brokers in Nigeria. The sacked immediate past EFCC Chairman Abdulrashid Bawa kindly got three jobs for his family and relatives and financial rewards to remove him from the NIMASA scum – One of these 3 seats he gave to his younger brother – Farid Bawa, employed and sent to Kirikiri branch of NIMASA. All of them can be checked at the Agency.
“Dr Bashir Jamoh against all known civil service rules and norms hired his direct younger brother Moshood Jamoh and without confirmation as a full staff and was sent on NIMASA sponsorship to Malmo World Maritime University for two years. Moshood seamlessly resumed in the Agency’s Maritime Safety Division as a Maritime Expert.’
Sources also accused Jamo of promoting nepotism as NIMASA boss and throwing out merit-based recruitment for tribal and religious sentiments.
One of the sources said: “Since 2020 when Dr. Bashir Jamo was appointed Director General of NIMASA with his Aso Rock connections, he has run the agency as his personal property while institutionalizing nepotism.
“Without the consent of all 3 CEOs. It ensures that officials from the Northern Enclave occupy all key positions in the agency and all of this can be verified. For example, the Supply Manager, all Area Managers and Port Service Controllers of all NIMASA offices outside the station are Northerners.
“The promotions and postings were never based on merit or principle of federal character but instead on Fulani Kanuri connections. In most of these cases, these officials were not the most senior or competent when they were asked to lead these offices.
“Never in the history of NIMASA has the agency been so religiously or tribally divided. The question remains: Why are all the Zonal Heads of all NIMASA offices in the South and the West headed by Northerners except one?
“All the four zonal offices of NIMASA, which are important structures in the agency, are headed by northerners. The zones are Western Zone based in Lagos, Central Zone based in Warri, Eastern Zone based in Port Harcourt, Northern Zone and Abuja office.
“The Western Zone of NIMASA is headed by Kabir Murnai 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 while the Northern Zone is headed by Waibe Outa from the state Plateau. The Abuja office of NIMASA is also headed by a northerner named Musa Zalani Attah from Adamawa State.
“Furthermore, all the Port Service Controllers (PSCs) in all the zones except one are northerners, mostly from Jamo’s home state of Kaduna. They are Sani Zaria for Apapa and Abubakar Jiga for Ibeju Lekki, both in the Western Zone. The Ports Authority controllers in the Eastern Zone are Nuhu Umar for Port Harcourt, Mohammed Ibrahim for On and Ibrahim Umar for Calabar, while the Head of the Central Zone, Dapa M. Musa from Borno State also acts as its Ports Authority Controller covering Ogara, Sapele, Burutu and Forcadoes. Only one of the agency’s existing seven PSCs, Chizoba Anyika (Tin Can Island Port), is a Southerner.”
Efforts to reach the agency’s Assistant Director, Public Relations, Mr. Osagie Edward, were unsuccessful as he did not return his calls. He also did not respond to a text message sent to his cell phone.