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N4 Billion Frauds: NIMASA Boss, Others Arrested …Fear grips NPA Boss

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Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman
Director General of the Nigeria Maritime and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Mr. Raymond Temisan Omatseye has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over allegation of fraud, contract inflation and financial mismanagement.

The two directors allegedly neck-deep in the monumental fraud in NIMASA and who were also whisked away by the EFCC are the Director of Finance, Mr. Bulame and the Director of Procurement, M.K Shehu. had exclusively reported how Omatseye, desperate to keep his job at the agency, resorted to bribing some top people's Democratic Party, PDP, Chieftains with series of contract valued at about N4 Billion. His counterpart at the Nigeria Port Authority, NPA, Abdulsalam Mohammed is also allegedly dishing out inflated contracts to save his job.

Omatseye was arrested by a crack team from the EFCC who spent hours interrogating him. He is alleged to have awarded strings of dodgy contracts to top PDP men and others to the tune of $27 Million. The contracts in question are for costal surveillance, maritime security, search and rescue, maritime pollution and receive and remove wrecks.

Sources told that Chairman of the Board of NIMASA, Senator Baba Tella who blew the whistle of the large scale scandal in the agency is expected to testify against the trio of Omatseye, Bulame and Shehu.

Following the arrest of the NIMASA boss, the leadership of the Nigeria port Authority, NPA, headed by Abdulsalam Mohammed is now living in fears following similar allegations that it has been involved in large scale contract scam with the knowledge of Chief Tony Anenih who is the chairman of the agency.

Chief Bode George, who was chairman of NPA before chief Anenih, is currently in jail for a whooping N84 billion contract inflation scam.

However, in a recent memo to President Goodluck Jonathan written by Minister for transport, Mr. Yusuf Suleiman, exclusively published by, the Minister lampooned the appointment of Omatseye whom he described as lacking the requisite credential to head a technical agency such as NIMASA.

According to the Minister's memo, “NIMASA as you may recall has the mandate to implement maritime policies contained in the relevant Act of Parliament. Due to the technical nature of the contents of these Acts, it is imperative that the top echelon of those charged to implement them must be well grounded, knowledgeable and have cognate experiences in Maritime Administration practices with requisite qualification in maritime technology, finance, law and mechanics of sea transportation.

The Minister regretted that the appointment of the current Executive Management Team is not in conformity with this important technical requirement, adding that “in view of the critical role the Agency is expected to play in the sustenance and advancement of Mr. President's reform agenda in the sector, the emphasis on maritime sub-sector, the importance of having a new Executive Management Team, headed by an acclaimed, tested and trusted hand that is professionally sound, highly experienced and technically proficient cannot be overemphasized.”

Mr. Suleiman in the memo to President Jonathan also called for a total reorganization of the NPA. The Minister noted that as at 2010, the NPA is currently implementing 2008 appropriation with huge operational deficit and in total non-compliance of the 2009 budget.

According to him ““today, the NPA is operating like no one is in charge there and the effect is telling on the industry.” He called for the sacking of the leadership of the NPA.

The embattled NIMASA boss, an Ibori lackey and nominee was made DG sequel to Ibori's recommendation to late President Umaru Yar 'Adua. This came after he (Ibori) engineered the sack of former NIMASA boss, Shamsideen Dosumu. He got on the wrong side of the senate committee on transport when he resisted attempts by the committee to make him inflate the agency's budget.

It was learnt that after the death of late President Umaru Yar “Adua and the escape of Ibori, Omatseye had been left in the cold to fight for his life and in desperation to remain as Director General, yielded to outrageous demands from lobbyists and some PDP stalwarts.


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