NIMASA Board Wants Omatseye, Two Others Suspended


The board of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has  recommended to the Minister of Transport, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman the suspension of  the Director General of the agency, Mr. Temi Omatseye, the Director of Finance  Mallam Jarma Bulama and Director of Procurement, Alhaji M.K Shehu.

The recommendation was made in a memo sent to the Minister of Transport after the  NIMASA Board met last Tuesday at the agency.

P.M.NEWS learnt that the resolution to suspend Omatseye and the two directors is in  connection with their recent arrest by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission  (EFCC) over their failure to follow due process by splitting, overpricing and  awarding contracts worth billions of naira which is beyond their approval limit.

The board equally advised the minister to suspend the trio until investigation into  the case is completed by the EFCC.

The EFCC had last Wednesday arrested Omatseye, Bulama and Shehu over a petition sent  to it by the Chairman of the board of the agency, Senator Baba Tela.

According to a 19-page report submitted to the ministry by forensic audit experts,  the contracts were awarded in local currency worth N5.127 billion and in dollars  worth $1.863 million (equivalent to N279 million) from January to June this year.

According to the report, NIMASA within the said period awarded 451 contracts  totaling N5.4 billion, even as the report detected fraud in refunds, cash advances  and supplies.

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Meanwhile, as at the time of going to press, Suleiman had not acted on the memo,  even as the international passports of the trio have been seized by the EFCC pending  when investigation is concluded.

The audit report was prepared by Akin Omorodion & Co., a firm of chartered  accountants, which the Federal Ministry of Transport had commissioned to audit  contract awards by parastatals and agencies under the ministry.

These include:NIMASA, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council  (NSC), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), and Nigerian Railway Corporation  (NRC).

While the NIMASA audit report has leaked, those of the other sister-parastatals of  the Federal Ministry of Transport have remained under close wraps.

With the trend of events, a number of industry analysts have alluded to a possible  witch-hunt against the NIMASA Management.

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