The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi has said that he was not aware of the removal of the Director General,Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside which was all over social media platforms Wednesday.
According to him, if the removal was a sack, the President would officially direct him to inform the DG concerned but as at yesterday, he was not directed to that regards or informed about the removal officially.
Amaechi speaking at the interview organised on AIT Kakaaki programme, said that the President has the right to extend the appointment of the DG or replace him after his tenure expires, stating that the Minister only has recommendation authority.
“I am not aware as at yesterday, when I spoke to the DG of NIMASA, He was still in the office, they had a board meeting yesterday and he was in the meeting as the DG of the organization, so I am not aware if he had been removed from office or not.
“I spoke to him about 4.pm yesterday, I should know as the minister of transportation.
“Government doesn’t take certain decision, if he was to be sacked they would direct the minister to formally intimate the DG of the sack, the President has not directed me to intimate anybody of any sack, so am not aware.
“Until his tenure is expired that is when we can approach the President to either reappoint him or replace him, the president has the appointment authority while the minister by law has the recommendation authority”, he said.
Commenting on the issue of the organization not auditing their account for six years, Amaechi said that the DG has not been the DG for six years.
“He has only been the DG for Four years and he cannot be punished for the offense of the previous DG’s and as I have said, the President has the right to appoint whoever he wants to appoint and also has the right if he wants to extend his tenure.
“I attend summons by the National Assembly, I would be surprised if the DG does not honor summons because he was once a member of House of Representatives, so I can’t say if that contributed to the removal.”
According to the reports making the rounds, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of Bashir Jamoh as the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Jamoh’s appointment should take effect after the expiration of Dakuku Peterside’s tenure in office on March 10, 2020.
Meanwhile, Amaechi while speaking on the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project, said that the project was almost completed but the outbreak of coronavirus couldn’t allow the Chinese continue the work.
“Now, We are focusing on Lagos-Ibadan, the rail construction is not going to linger till 2023, If not for Coronavirus, I would have said we are nearly completing Lagos-Ibadan, the bulk of the contractors are still in China, they can’t return to work because the government of China did not allow them to return and that will delay the work,” he said.
He however said that the ongoing test run was to test the tracks, stating that commercial activities was yet to commence until signaling and communication was completed.