When the news of the appointment of Bashir Jamoh, as the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), hit the airwaves, there was a sense of calmness that hit the polity. There were no murmurs; instead, there was a beam of light on the faces of the majority that understood the strategic importance of NIMASA in the maritime industry in Nigeria.
As a start, it must be understood in clear terms the objectives of NIMASA visa viz its establishment on the 1st of August 2006. NIMASA was established primarily for the administration of Maritime Safety Seafarers Standards and Security, Maritime Labour, Shipping Regulation, Promotion of Commercial Shipping and Cobatage activities, Pollution Prevention, and Control in the marine environment.
NIMASA also implements domesticated International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions. This is quite a strategic agency in Nigeria’s quest to achieve and sustain safe, secure shipping, cleaner oceans, and enhanced maritime capacity in line with the best global practices towards economic development.
Dr. Bashir Jamoh’s appointment comes at no better time in Nigeria’s bid to further secure the nation’s maritime environment and to stem the ugly trend of sea-robbery, piracy, illegal bunkering, and other sea-based crimes. Those conversant with the reforms in the maritime industry in Nigeria have admitted in numerous forums that Dr. Bashir Jamoh’s contributions are indelible given his innumerable contributions in a career that has spanned over 32 years in various capacities.
Some call him the maritime genius. Some also call him the maritime whiz kid. Whichever side of the fence you stand; you can’t but agree that the new helmsman at NIMASA is a man with a vision and on a mission. He might not be as tall as his academic qualifications, but they are indeed a handful. The count starts with a Ph.D. in Logistics and Transport Management, a Master’s Degree in Management, a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Sciences, and a Diploma in Accounting, respectively.
He has attended several leadership and management courses at the Harvard University US, Oxford University UK, Cambridge University UK, International Training Centre of ILO Turin Italy, Institute of Public-Private Partnership Washington DC, International Law Institute, USA, and Institute for Leadership and Development for the Public Good, USA, Royal Institute of Public Administration UK and World Maritime University, Sweden, amongst others.
Dr. Bashir Jamoh is a Fellow of the International Professionals Managers Association, UK, Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria, Chartered Institute of Administration Nigeria, Academy for Entrepreneurial Studies, Nigeria, Institute of Business Development, Institute of Information Management, Africa, and Fellow, Institute of Public Diplomacy and Management. Quite intimidating, you would agree.
The more intimidating is the fact that Dr. Bashir Jamoh comes with a wealth of experience. It can be safely stated that he midwife the transformation of NIMASA into what it is today. He was at various times the Principal Commercial Officer (Operations), Port Services Controller (Onne), Port Services Controller (Tin-Can Island Port), Assist. Chief Commercial Officer (HQ); Chief Admin Officer (Training), Assistant Director, Wet and Dry Cargo (Operations); Assistant Director (Research), Head (Protocol & Logistics), and Assistant Director (Training) and Executive Director: (Finance & Administration) in NIMASA.
Dr. Bashir Jamoh has been credited to have restructured and repositioned NIMASA over the years in the various capacities he held sway. Chief amongst them is the improvement of Revenue Generation and steady remittance to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federal Government.
As Executive Director (Admin & Finance) of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh saw improved budgetary management of over N117 billion with commensurate value. He also saw the effective co-ordination of revenue generation from operations with a monthly budget of up to $40 million. He spearheaded and managed the process leading to the passage of the bill for the establishment of the charter status for the Chartered Institute of Transport Administrators (CIoTA) in 2019.
Dr. Bashir Jamoh is not just a seasoned administrator. He is also an intellectual authority in the maritime industry in Nigeria, with several books to his credit. He is the author of “Harnessing Nigeria’s Maritime Assets – Past, Present & Future. The book dwelled on criminal negligence of a sector that could easily have made Nigeria a wealthy maritime country.
The book reveals that “The maritime sector plays a vital role in the exploitation, distribution, and exportation of Nigeria’s natural and aquatic resources. It further highlighted the fact that maritime traffic analysis from “2004 to 2013 showed a total of 58,600 vessels calling at Nigerian ports and only 2,465 vessels were handled by indigenous operator through hire, chartered mode and other forms which represent only 4.21 percent of the total performance, while foreigners had 95.79 percent of the total volume. This is quite instructive.
He has also published numerous papers on “Enhancing the Performance of the Maritime Sector in Nigeria: Effect of Macroeconomic variables” in local and international journals. He also has published works on “the Applications of Information Technology in Maritime Transport in Nigeria.”
Dr. Bashir Jamoh is indeed a round peg in a round hole. He is the National President of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria, Co-Chairman Organizing Committee on National Training on Marine Biological Baseline Studies for the Implementation of Ballast Water Management Convention (2004) in Nigeria, Coordinator, NIMASA Interface with the Automated System for Customs Data ASYCUDA Platform to check out the Incidences of Non-Declaration and Under-declaration of Cargoes, Member, Committee on Implementation modalities of a study report on performance-Based Reward framework for NIMASA, and Member, Committee on Development of job description for NIMASA, amongst others.
The appointment of Dr. Bashir Jamoh as the Director-General of NIMASA has been described as the tonic needed for the rejuvenation of the maritime industry in Nigeria. As the erstwhile executive director of finance and administration, industry watchers described him as the heartbeat of the Agency. This fact is buttressed with the numerous reforms experienced in the Agency since 2016, especially the transformation of the financial and accounting system for efficient, effective management and control of the financial resources of the Agency.
He was also responsible for the general administration and implementation of policies and programmes on recruitment, promotion, discipline, training, welfare, and motivation of human resources and is also charged with the responsibilities of providing tools, equipment, and facilities to staff to enable them to perform their duties efficiently and effectively.
This consequently culminated in NIMASA being awarded as the Federal Agency of the Year 2019 for its significant contribution to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government, as well as its quest for excellence through capacity building, promotion of staff, and automation of processes in the Agency, among others.
The appointment of Dr. Bashir Jamoh is indeed a testament to the unalloyed commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari in setting Nigeria on the path of steady growth and development. The expectations are high, and it is envisaged that the maritime industry in Nigeria would experience tremendous growth and development with Dr. Bashir Jamoh at the helms of affairs. There is indeed a new sheriff in town. This is indeed an appointment so worthy.