Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has said he is not aware of the alleged sack of the Director-General (DG) of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside.
This was after news broke on Wednesday that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Bashir Jamoh as the new DG of the agency.
Jamoh is the executive director of administration and finance in NIMASA.
Peterside’s tenure expires on the 10th of March, 2020 but has been hopeful of getting his tenure renewed.
Speaking on television on Thursday morning, the Minister said: “I am not aware. As of yesterday when I spoke to the DG of NIMASA, he was in the office and they had a board meeting and he was present at the meeting. I am not aware that he has been removed. I spoke to him at about 3 pm to 4 pm. I should know if he has been sacked. If I am the minister of transportation, I should know.
“Maybe we need to call him (Peterside) this morning to know whether he is in the office but the government does not take an arbitrary decision. If he were to be sacked, the minister of transportation would be told to formally intimate the DG of his sack and I am not aware that the president has directed me to intimate anybody of his sack.
“His tenure expires on the 10th of this month. When it expires, you can then approach the president to either reappoint him or replace him. The president has the appointing authority. All the minister has by law is the recommendation authority.”
While defending Peterside for his failure to push the agency to audit its account which has not been done for six years, the minister said: “I am not aware that that could be the reason. He has been DG for only four years because he came into office in 2016 and they cannot be punishing him for the offence committed by previous DGs.
“I don’t think that those speculations are right. I just think they are mere speculations and we should wait until Tuesday next week when his tenure will officially expire. The president has the right to appoint whoever he wants to appoint and if he wants to extend his tenure, he will extend his tenure.”n
Speaking on the alleged refusal of Peterside to attend National Assembly summons, he said: “I attend National assembly summons because they have the authority to summon a minister or the head of parastatals. I would be surprised if Peterside does not honour summons because he was once a member of the House of Representatives.”