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By NBF News
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CITING shoddiness, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) may have cancelled 40 contracts worth N1.5 billion awarded by the former executive management headed by Temisan Omatseye, who was recently suspended and replaced by President Goodluck Jonathan. Authoritative source said the contracts were revoked because they were not in conformity with core mandate and that due process were not followed as stipulated by the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP).

According to the source, 'the tender board of the agency considered and reviewed various contracts awarded recently and discovered that they were not in conformity with the Procurement Act 2007, more so that majority of the contracts were not in line with the core mandate of the agency.'

The over 40 affected contracts were between N9 million and N49 million in value.

Meanwhile, the new Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, last Thursday assumed duties.

Akpobolokemi expressed gratitude to President Jonathan and the Minister of Transport, Alhaji Yusuf Suleman, for giving him an opportunity to serve the country's maritime sector.

While noting that President Jonathan was desirous of a highly productive maritime sector, the new NIMASA boss said his management would regenerate the maritime sector's potentials to give employment to thousands of youths in the country.

He appealed for cooperation from all stakeholders in his attempt to move the sector forward.

'It is time for us to work together and harness our maritime potentials for the benefit of all Nigerians. Mr. President wants the maritime sector reshaped in order to become the major contributor to the national economy. That is our mandate and we are ready to deliver. My watchwords are discipline, honesty and hard work.' He also added that his actions while he remained in the saddle would be in the interest of majority of stakeholders.

Akpobolokemi, who said his appointment was from God, said he would fashion out a management style that will incorporate all stakeholders in decision making especially in area the of policy implementation within the maritime sector.

In his welcome address, the NIMASA's Executive Director (Administration and Finance), Mr. Adeniran Aderogba, assured the new helmsman of the workers co-operation and support.

On his part, Mr. Ishaku Shekarau, the agency's Executive Director, Maritime Safety and Shipping Development, enumerated the challenges ahead.

'We have the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) council elections coming up later in the year, and Nigeria through Mrs. Monica Mbanefo is also contesting for the highest office in the IMO. So what we do in the next 10 months will definitely go a long way in shaping the outcome of our performance at the elections.'