The slightly over a year old administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has been characterised by brazen nepotism and cronyism, and perhaps no organisation epitomises those ugly traits more than the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
NIMASA is headed by Director-General Dakuku Peterside, a crony of Rotimi Amaechi, the allegedly “fantastically corrupt” former governor of Rivers State and current Transport Minister. Amaechi bought his influence in Buhari’s administration by allegedly providing about 80% of the money that the president used to run for office via funds looted from the Rivers State public purse. Peterside ran and lost in the race for governor of Rivers State. One source quipped that he was put in charge of NIMASA to recover what he spent on the (s)election.
Peterside runs NIMASA with a management team of Executive Directors that includes newly promoted Bashir Jarmo. Jarmo used to be an Assistant Director but has been elevated to Executive Director to supervise his former superiors at Deputy Director and Director levels. He is married to the president’s cousin.
The NIMASA board of directors that was approved by the president last month also includes a certain Mohammed Gidado Muazu. Muazu is the brother-in-law of the president’s Chief of Staff Abba Kyari (married to Kyari’s sister). Kyari is a crony of Buhari’s nephew Mamman Daura.
In addition to be being Chief of Staff, Kyari also put himself on the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and is said to be running the country in his spare time.
As one source close to the seat of power admitted to Naijiant.com: “There’s too much nepotism in the land”. Fela Kuti immortalised this type of rule in “Army Arrangement” with “na padi-paid government we dey oh”.