The federal government has declared the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as a non-performing parastatal of the government.
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, who made the disclosure, said NIMASA is not living up to its mandate and the government may have no option than to wind up the agency, if it does not shape up.
Amaechi alleged that NIMASA has surrendered its responsibility of providing maritime security to ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.
The minister also described the proposed Nigerian Maritime University established by former President Goodluck Jonathan as a wasteful project that may have to be jettisoned.
Addressing the Senate Committee on Marine Transport yesterday, Amaechi, lamented what he called the inefficiency of NIMASA saying the agency was just turned into a revenue collecting apparatus, neglecting its other core mandates.
“Currently, the way NIMASA is, it looks as if it was established just for the purpose of collecting money and nothing more,” he said.
“If NIMASA failed to perform its core responsibility, then it has no business existing. If it is just to collect money from individuals, anybody can do that. We can hire a tax collector to collect money from maritime operators on behalf of federal ministry of transport.
“It is either NIMASA sit up and carry out its own responsibility or we come to the national assembly to repeal the act setting it up,” the minister said.
He said NIMASA had nothing to show for the N63billion revenue it generated in the previous year.
On the proposed Maritime University, Amaechi said “waste of resources” since there are institutions already providing such training.
“I don’t think we are proceeding with the university being proposed by NIMASA because it is a waste of resources, and unfortunately a lot of money had already been released for the university project hence there is no structure on ground but just the feasibility study,” he said.
“We have an institution in Oron, we have Nigeria Institute of Transport Technology, Zaria, and we have the Nigerian College of Aviation in Zaria which we could upgrade to a University status and NIMASA is proposing to build a new one,” he added.
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