Nigerian government wades into NIMASA, maritime academy impasse over remittances

The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, has reiterated the need to fix the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway to boost businesses and generate more revenue at the Lagos ports.

The Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, has said that the Federal Government would take a holistic look at the remittances of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, in a bid to resolve the impasse surrounding the releases.

Ms Saraki said this on Thursday while fielding questions from reporters after a facility tour of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, in Akwa Ibom State.

The minister said that there appeared to be a misunderstanding on how funds meant to be sent to the academy in Oron by NIMASA did not get there.

“There seems to be a misunderstanding on the part of NIMASA as to how these funds are supposed to be given to the Maritime Academy, Oron. We already have problems with irregular remittance of five per cent funding of the Academy by NIMASA.

“It’s not in NIMASA’s pleasure, it’s not whether NIMASA wants to, or how it is NIMASA’s duty, it is not NIMASA to oversight it, NIMASA’s own is that you are supposed to give an amount to the Maritime Academy.

“We will look into the system as it is supposed to be. We are looking at a way of seeing how this ridiculous problem can go away forever.

“As of now, it is not working. The many things that have not been answered are funding, amount, how remittances are done and when they are done.

“We will sit together, independent of the Maritime Academy and NIMASA, to look at what is the problem and find solutions, because sometimes it seems we have a misunderstanding.

“We will make it very simple for everybody so that there will be no area that we are confused about,” Ms Saraki said.

She said the maritime sector if harnessed properly, could generate enough revenue for the economy.

Ms Saraki said the essence of her visit was to see how to improve the facilities at the academy, improve on the curriculum and standard of what the institution has to offer to Nigerian students and others.

The minister said she was satisfied with the quality of infrastructure at the academy and commended the present leadership of the institution, led by the Rector, Duja Effedua.

She said there are plans to ensure that Nigeria dominates the rest of Africa in the area of training seafarers.

Earlier, the rector, Emmanuel Effedua disclosed that the decision to name some of the recently completed projects in the academy after women who had distinguished themselves in the sector was meant to motivate other women to work hard.

Newsmen reported that the minister inaugurated Mfon Usoro hall, Gbemisola Saraki Sports Pavilion and Lynda Chuba-Ikpeazu Auditorium, during the visit.

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