The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has been embroiled in many controversies in the past, but the latest one that he awarded a whopping N250m contract to a proxy company threatens his continuous stay in that office.
The politician has also been recently put on the spot for splashing N50b on a floating dock which has since remained moribund.
The Cabotage fund was said to have been used to finance the controversial Dock procured mid last year.
According to the magazine’s investigations, the agency boss has already forwarded a memo to that effect to NIMASA Board for onward approval of the new contract.
“The General Jonathan India Garba led board is still studying the memo from the DG which will anytime from now give approval,” a member of the board informed the magazine.
Recently, one of his predecessors was sentenced to a seven-year imprisonment after the court found him guilty of breaching the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC code.
The contract awarded to one Thames Hudson Consulting, for the dry docking and repair of MV Ofure, one of the boats in its fleet.
What made the contract suspicious, some stakeholders in the sector told the magazine, is that the said company does not operate any ship repair facility within and outside the country.
This is even more so after the agency, last year splashed N50b on an idle floating dock in a similar controversial manner.
Since the Dock was purchased in 2018, close sources in the agency said it has not function for one day.
A committee was set up by the agency boss in January this year to recommend ways on how the Dock will be put to use but nothing has been heard on the matter since then, those privy to the matter said.
Other sources told the magazine that the recommendations of the committee have been ignored by the management.
For instance, a memo signed and dated January 29 by one Engineer. Olu Aladenusi on how to engage the facility was said to have been discarded by Dr. Peterside.
That’s in spite of his promise last year that the Dry Dock platform will redefine Nigeria’s shipping business.
At least, over N36b will be realized from the Dock yearly, the DG boasted at the time.
As it is, those promises seemed to have become farfetched because the facility has been abandoned ever since.
Rather than start work, the agency has been incurring direct and indirect expensed on the moribund Dock, the magazine was told.
According to investigations, the agency has been spending $30,000, close to N10 m on the facility as wharfage charges since it arrived last year.
As at March this year, the agency owed the Naval Dockyard over $90,000, close to N30m, it was also revealed.
Also, the agency has spent more than $3m to take care of staff and other expenses for the maintenance of the facility in the last one year
“We spend $10,000 as daily expenses for the maintenance of the platform since the agency took delivery of it since June 11, 2018,” a top agency staff told the magazine yesterday.