11th April, 2011
Sack fever has gripped staff of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA) as there is an indication that about 95% staff of the agency have been penciled down for dismissal.
P.M.NEWS gathered that their impending sack may not be unconnected with the alleged role they played in the crisis in the agency following the appointment of its new Director-General, Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi.
Although the impending sack was attributed to redundancy and attainment of retirement age, sourcesÂ within the agency said the workers were being axed for their act of disloyalty and treachery during the face-off between the new DG and some executive directors who considered his appointment as an affront and wanted to push him out.
It would be recalled that Akpobolokemi, last month, threatened to resign his appointment, citing irreconcilable differences with the executive directors whom he said were not compatible to work with.Though he later denied the claim, it took the intervention of the Minister of Transport, Alhaji Yusuf Sulaiman, and the new Board Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, to call a truce between the warring parties.
The new DG’s move was considered a bold step to clear the Augean stable that would make the agency governable for him. A breakdown of those to be affected in the exercise indicated that 40 junior staff, 35 middle level staff, 20 senior staff and some directors could be involved.
However,Â Hajia LamiÂ Tumaka, the Head of Public Relations of the agency denied the sack claim, saying that â€œit was a lieâ€. Tumaka said that contrary to the sack claim, the agency was embarking on a promotion exercise for deserving staff Â â€œThe staff were very happy as the promotion exercise is on-goingâ€, she declared. She said officers on grade level 3 to 13 are to benefit from the promotion exercise.