Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Thursday, declared that he was not aware of the removal of the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dakuku Peterside.
On Wednesday evening, several reports stated that the President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the appointment of Bashir Jamoh as the new Director-General of NIMASA.
But while speaking during a live television programme on Africa Independent Television monitored by our correspondent in Abuja, the transportation minister said he was not aware of the new appointment and the sacking of Peterside.
Amaechi argued that the tenure of Peterside had yet to expire.
Peterside’s tenure as NIMASA DG ends on March 10, 2020.
The minister said, “Until his tenure expires, that is when you can approach Mr President either to re-appoint or replace him. By law, the President has appointment authority, while the minister has the recommendation authority.
“As the Minister of Transportation, I should know, the government does not take unilateral decisions. If he were to be sacked I should have been intimated of his sack, but I am not aware. Although his tenure expires on Tuesday.”
When asked if the alleged sack had anything to do with the National Assembly’s probe of the agency for failing to audit NIMASA’s account for the past six years, the minister replied, “I am not aware of that.
“You said six years, he came into office in 2016 and that means he has been DG for four years. You cannot be punishing him for the offence committed by past DGs.”
Amaechi faulted reports of the removal of Peterside, describing them as speculations.
“I don’t think the news is right, I feel its mere speculation. They should wait until next Tuesday. As I said, the President has the authority to appoint whoever he wants to appoint and if he wants to extend his tenure he can do so.”
Amaechi also stated that he would be surprised if Peterside refused to attend summons by the National Assembly, as was reported recently.
The minister said, “I don’t supervise whether he (Peterside) attends summons or not. I do attend National Assembly summons and I will be surprised if Peterside does not respond to the summons because he was once in House of Representatives.”