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NIMASA expends N500 mln on bullet-proof SUVs for top executives, acquires N17.5 bln new HQ office in V/I

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The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has so far expended more than N500 million on the acquisition of four brand new units of bullet-proof official cars its Director-General, Bashir Jamoh and the other three Executive Directors of the agency.

According to a report by Business & Transport, the four official bullet-proof cars consist of one bulletproof Toyota Lexus Sports Utility Vehicle SUV 2020 model, which was acquired at over N150 million for the DG while the remaining three bullet-proof Toyota Prado SUVs were acquired at over N100 million apiece for the three Executive Directors.

The agency has three Executive Directors comprising ED, Finance and Administration, ED Shipping Development and ED, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services.

The source also disclosed that these are in addition to the acquisition of other exotic SUVs, which make up the convoys of the four top executives of the agency, which have cost the Nigerian taxpayers in excess of N500 million.

The DG, who is currently a governorship aspirant under the ruling All Progressives Alliance (APC) in Kaduna State, had voluntarily retired from the agency in 2016 as an Assistant Director and was subsequently appointed Executive Director, Finance and Administration the same year, has also been alleged to have lavished several hundreds of millions of naira to refurbish and equip his office.

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This followed his appointment as the Director-General on March 10, 2020, after the immediate past DG, Dakuku Peterside, was denied tenure renewal by the federal government due to power play.

Recall that the agency under the watch of Jamoh had also recently acquired a new head office complex on Victoria Island at the cost of N17.47 billion, which was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) anyway.

But stakeholders have however questioned the rationale behind the acquisition of the new office, less than one year after the former management, under which Jamoh was ED Finance and Administration (second highest ranking officer after the DG) spent hundreds of millions of naira to renovate the Burma Road, Apapa head office, which is still being renovated till date.

The stakeholders had argued that the DG chose to spend such huge taxpayers’ money to acquire a new office building when the Apapa gridlock has disappeared.

They also argued that most shipping service providers and users serviced by NIMASA are domiciled in Apapa, adding that the additional cost of navigating from Apapa to Victoria Island to access NIMASA’s services would eventually be passed to the final consumers.

However, the Assistant Director, Public Relations Unit of NIMASA, Osagie Edward, when contacted on phone denied the report, noting that there was nothing like that.

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