On 10 March Dakuku Peterside was appointed Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Peterside is the “boy” of Rotimi Amaechi, the former governor of Rivers State and Minister for Transport. Amaechi is alleged to have provided about 80% of the funds (from Rivers State coffers) that President Muhammadu Buhari used to run for president.
Ironically, the Buhari regime is currently prosecuting several Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts alongside former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki for diverting public funds for other purposes.
Amaechi’s payback for using stolen funds to bring Buhari into power was the transport ministry and the freedom to pick his “boy” Peterside for the cashcow that is NIMASA.
Several weeks ago, Amaechi, told the Senate Committee on Marine Transport: “The responsibility of NIMASA [Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency] is to protect Nigeria’s waterways but it has out-sourced its responsibility to a private firm, Global West, which Tompolo has interest in. We need to first address the contract of Global West with NIMASA. I was extremely disappointed NIMASA made 63 billion naira [$316.2m] annually and this money is not remitted to the government coffers. At the moment, 53 billion naira [$266m] is at Treasury Single Account (TSA) of NIMASA.”
“Tompolo” is a Niger Delta gangster and ex Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) “militant” leader, who the Goodluck Jonathan administration allowed to take over NIMASA, handpicking its Director-General Patrick Akpobolokemi, and helping themselves to public money. We described the Tompolo and NIMASA relationship here:
While Tompolo is hiding in the Niger Delta creeks to escape prosecution, Akpobolokemi is in detention awaiting trial for large scale looting of NIMASA. And the government seeking to jail both men for corruption is recreating the same relationship to loot NIMASA with Amaechi and Peterside.
A NIMASA insider told Naijiant.com: “Dakuku was commissioner for works under Amaechi in Rivers state. Then he was packaged to the Fed House of Reps by Amaechi. Now that Wike has taken Rivers [Eze Nyesom Wike defeated Peterside to replace Amaechi as governor], Amaechi as Minister for Transport has brought his boy who is a Medical Lab graduate to rob Nimasa as payback for the ‘Changee’ racket. The story is another Tompolo rehash with new actors”.
The actors may be different, but the theme music of corruption remains. As someone close to Amaechi once revealed to us, “we’ve chopped at state level and are now moving to federal level”. “Levels don change” – as they would say in Nigeria. That’s the type of “change” the ruling APC is offering.