By Godwin Oritse
THE issues of promotion of staff of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, were some the major challenges we had on assumption of duty at the agency, Chairman of the Board of the agency, Major General India Garuba, has said.
Garuba who spoke to Vanguard Maritime Report on the sideline of the recently concluded Global Maritime Security Conference held in Abuja disclosed that the promotional exercise in the agency was such that there were officers who were in a position for more than 16 years while others got promoted three times within three years.
He explained that when the board assumed duty, the image of the agency was in tatters and that they have been able to change the perception of the agency within a short time.
He said: “When we came on board, you realized that there was a previous administration whereby the image of NIMASA was bastardized but within a very short time we have turned round the perception that people had of NIMASA.
“We are rendering returns to government more than ever before, promotions that were never done have been perfected. “Some people were not promoted for 16 years and they never committed any offence. Meanwhile there were some people that got promoted three times within three years. It was very selective but since we came on board since 2016, we have carried three promotional exercises.
“By end of the year we will make the fourth consecutive promotion of staff and officers of the agency.”
On what he wants to be remembered for, he said that the industry should know that NIMASA takes safety and security very seriously ensuing that the regulatory aspect of NIMASA are well known to operators in the maritime industry.
On the maritime security architecture initiative by NIMASA, Garuba commended the promoters of the Home Land Security International, HLSI, saying that the programme is going very well adding that some of the expected equipment have been manufactured while some of them will come into the country.
On the Global Maritime Security Conference, Garuba noted that the objectives and expectations of the meeting were met as all the Naval Heads from more over 70 countries were part of the resolutions reached at the meeting.
He stated that before now, there was no synergy amongst countries in the counter attack against piracy adding that with the resolutions from the conference there will be a lot of synergy and collaboration between countries to move against any common enemy.
He stated: “The intent of the conference is to see how we can reach a collaboration amongst the nations within the Gulf of Guinea so that we are not individually pursuing the same goal but from different directions.”