Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), under the umbrella of Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria (CCSON) yesterday debunked allegations leveled against the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR, over financial misappropriation.
The National Secretary, CCSON, Comrade Dele Anifowoshe stated this while briefing journalists in Abuja.
Anifowoshe pointed out that there was no in-depth investigation before some media houses reported what they received as allegations from some persons they described as mischievous and unscrupulous elements.
According to him, they had done their investigations that showed that the allegations were handiwork of detractors whose dirty businesses have been taken away and now are fighting back by using some sections of the media to report unverified facts.
He said, “As Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria, CCSON, we have deemed it fit to debunk claims against the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, over alleged financial infractions which are not true as they make Nigerians to believe a lie.
“From our investigations which indicated that the stories and reports put out there are all tissues of lies and baseless. It’s unfortunate, some of these publications were hurriedly put together and some news media ran with them without doing due diligence through investigation to verify and balance their reportage.”
“We want to make it clear that these allegations have never been verified and authenticated anywhere and anytime; rather they are deliberately cooked up by some unscrupulous elements who do not mean well for our country and peace.”
“We call on Nigerians to discard this cheap blackmail from persons who are out to defame the Director General of NIMASA who has positively transformed the agency and repositioned it for high productivity.”
According to him, the NIMASA boss is a game-changer and go-getter who has transformed the image of the agency, therefore, he has attracted local and international recognitions and awards.
“Industry players have showered encomium on his sterling performance since he took over the helm of affairs of the agency.”
“Today, NIMASA is recognized for his performance by bringing the agency to be at par with its counterparts across the world based on its global best practices.”
“Dr Jamoh has stood out among those who were DGs of NIMASA by being gender sensitive and friendly, which the agency has 60 percent of directors as women.”
“He has been able through his proactive and pragmatic steps made the Agency to have strong synergy between other relevant agencies and established international collaboration against piracy and other maritime offences resulting in an all time reduction in vessel and crew attacks.
“With his personal involvement and engagement with the NIMASA Board, Executive Management Team and all staff of the agency, they have all worked assiduously to contribute to the success stories the nation’s foremost maritime administration has been associated with.
“He is currently on the move to ensure NIMASA scales up performance of its statutory functions and activities to woo more investors, professionals and all stakeholders in the nation’s maritime industry to boost the economy,” he said, adding that “Now we have to double our efforts.”
Meanwhile, one of nation’s eggheads, Prof. Pat Utomi observed that the Deep Blue Project and the Blue Economy initiatives championed by Dr. Jamoh have brought massive gains to agency and the nation’s economic diversification goals.
“Media reports also have it that the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in its recent report had disclosed that piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, which had in recent times become the global epicenter for sea piracy, fell to the lowest since Q2 2019 after the Dr. Jamoh started enforcing the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also known as the Deep Blue Project.
“Based on the impact and achievements of the DG NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, since assumption of office has won several awards including the 2020 Zik Prize in Public Policy.
“Also the prestigious media giant, Vanguard Media has given one of its highest awards to Dr Jamoh as recognition and commendation of his radical transformation of NIMASA, which was the ‘Public Sector Icon (Maritime) Award’, and critical maritime stakeholders who witnessed the ceremony acknowledged the fact that the NIMASA DG has worked hard within a short period to justify the honour.
“Due to his excellent performance in repositioning NIMASA he was honoured with the prestigious award of ‘Public Servant of the Year’ in 2022 by Champion Newspapers.
“Also internationally he has been applauded for his doggedness and determination to change the narrative after he hit the ground running as the DG NIMASA”, they added.
“We once again state that the allegations against a core technocrat and goal-getter as Dr Jamoh are all lies from the lips of mischief-makers,” the coalition stressed.