Fear grips NIMASA workers over redeployment

Palpable fear now hangs over the heads of senior cadre management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), following latest redeployment of four deputy directors of the organization.

The workers anxiety springs from this week’s dramatic redeployment of four deputy directors and the earlier retirement of some directors by the Director General, Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi. They were allegedly eased out few years to their official retirement time to pave way for loyalists and other interest groups to come in.

Critics say directors’ disengagement was akin to a sack as none of them wanted to leave the time they did. When our correspondent visited the headquarters of NIMASA in Apapa Lagos, some staff converged in groups discussing the sweeping changes that occurred at the place in the last 14 days. “Anything can now happen here. It’s really a serious matter.

Those who were forced to retire are now described as those who left voluntarily. It’s really serious,” a female staff said. Dust raised by the recruitment exercise in NIMASA forced the Senate to summon Akpobolokemi to clear allegations trailing his action.

The Senate Committee on Federal Character faulted Akpobolokemi over alleged forced retirement of certain deputy directors and directors who, under the guise of ‘golden handshake’, were replaced on the ground of ethnicity by younger and inexperienced personnel.

Contributing to the matter, a member of the committee, Senator Ali Ndume, said that the so-called ‘golden handshake’ allegedly dispensed to four NIMASA staff retired four years before their due date, was ‘an arm-twisting exercise aimed at creating space for some younger elements from a particular zone of the country.

Also speaking, Committee Chairman, Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta, described the last recruitment exercise conducted by NIMASA as unhealthy.

Kuta noted that during that particular exercise, Bayelsa State allegedly had 25 persons employed, while neighbouring Rivers State had only three people recruited.

Urging the Chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Prof. Abdulrahman Oba, to furnish the committee with the names of the right and genuine candidates that would fill the posts being vacated by the affected people in the NIMASA ‘golden handshake’ retirement exercise, Kuta posited that this would help to ascertain whether the Agency has totally violated the Federal Character principle.


First published by daily sun

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