The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has directed immediate financial and staff audit of the Nigerian Maritime and Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The minister gave the directive on Monday during his maiden tour of Lagos ports and a stop-over at NIMASA Resource Centre, Kirikiri.
Amaechi also directed the Acting Director-General of NIMASA, Mr Haruna Jauro, to forward details of contracts awarded by the agency for verification.
The former Rivers governor demanded a detailed financial report of the agency since its inception.
“Over N100 billion is given to this agency yearly and I am yet to see how it has been spent. I am yet to see some of the projects being executed by this agency,’’ Amaechi said.
The minister also requested for the staff nominal roll and details of staff employed by the agency and their qualifications.
He instructed the acting director-general to forward the staff nominal roll of the agency to the Federal Ministry of Transport to know if there were vacancies to be filled.
Amaechi expressed dissatisfaction with the ill-equipped clinic laboratory at the NIMASA Resource centre.
“From my inspection so far, I discovered that the Search and Rescue clinic is not equipped; the canteen is in deteriorated condition; the chairs are not okay and the place is leaking,’’ the minster said.
NIMASA is the apex regulatory and promotional maritime agency in the country.
The agency was created from the merger of National Maritime Authority (NMA) and Joint Maritime Labour Industrial Council on August 1, 2006.
Earlier, the minister directed the management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to work toward achieving 48 hours cargo clearance target when he visited the headquarters of the agency in Lagos.
He said he had promised President Muhammadu Buhari that he would ensure Nigerian ports achieved 48 hours cargo clearance target.
“Other countries operating maritime industry are achieving 48 hours cargo clearance, so Nigeria is not an exemption.
“I believe in transparency and hard work. We should endeavour to do what people are expecting us to do.
“I will inform the public about the activities of the maritime industry to make sure you do what people will like to know,’’ the minister said.
In an address, the Managing Director of NPA, Malam Habib Abdullahi, said the agency had made tremendous efforts in the last three years in managing the affairs of Nigerian ports.
“When we take you round the ports, you will be able to see the developments at Lagos ports. We have two of the ports in Lagos while the remaining four are outside Lagos.
“NPA is one of the oldest parastatals in the country and is still maintaining its status and statutory obligations as directed by the Federal Government,’’ Abdullahi said. (NAN)