NIMASA Disowns Staff over Ripples on Customs Board Chairman

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The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has disown one of its staff Mr. Momoh Alhassan for the position he took on behalf of the agency as regards the chairmanship of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) board.

Alhassan had while speaking at a stakeholders’ forum which took place recently in NCS Training College, Ikeja, Lagos said NIMASA is opposed to the Comptroller General of NCS, Colonel Ibrahim Ali (retired) serving as the Chairman of NCS Board.

Alhassan who presented the agency position when it was time allocated to speak at the forum also pushed for NIMASA becoming a member of the board in view of its statutory roles and responsibilities as Nigeria’s maritime regulatory authority.

According to him, the agency should be placed on the board of the Customs alongside the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA). The Nigerian University Commission (NUC) should be removed from the Customs board and replaced with NIMASA. As far as the maritime sector is concerned, we are the only one qualified to develop capacity of operators. He also argued that cargo manifests of NCS should be made available to all government agencies.

Apparently worried by the controversy generated Alhassan position at the forum, the agency in a statement issued in Lagos said there was no iota of truth in what he said at the forum. The statement signed by NIMASA Head, Corporate Communications Team, Hajia Lami Tumaka said: “We want to state categorically that this is NOT the position of the Agency. The event which was held in Lagos and organised by the Nigerian Customs was intended to sensitise stakeholders and garner feedback on the proposed amendment to the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA). Mr. Momoh Alhassan, though a staff of the Agency was merely expressing his opinion in his personal capacity. NIMASA is not unaware of the correct procedure to be adopted in making its own presentations on matters of this nature which the Agency regards as very important.

“Being a draft law that will be forwarded to the National Assembly for legislative input and passage, the Agency will articulate its position at a public hearing at the National Assembly when the need arises. As a responsible organisation, NIMASA is dedicated to its core mandate of promoting the development of indigenous commercial shipping in international and coastal trade and the regulation of the maritime industry in Nigeria. The agency will therefore always commit to only those ideals that can further this course”.