Amaechi Orders Probe of NIMASA Transfer of N18bn to Maritime Academy Uyo
LAGOS NOVEMBER 30TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi has ordered a probe into the financial activities of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, Oron in Akwa Ibom State and the remission of N18 billion by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, to the institution within the last five years.
Amaechi’s demand for a full audit of the institution’s finances is predicated on allegations of financial recklessness and large-scale corruption leveled against the institution’s rector, Mr Joshua Okpo.
This was after the rector had repeatedly accused NIMASA of starving the school of funds through the agency’s alleged flagrant refusal to release the statutory five per cent subvention funds to the school.
Leadership reports that Amaechi had summoned the management of NIMASA to his office and asked why it was sitting on the subvention of the institution. This led the acting Director-General of NIMASA, Mr Haruna Jauro to inform him that the agency has remitted over N18 billion to the academy since 2009.
Upon being asked to explain by the Minister, the Academy’s rector stated that he only took over in 2011 to which the NIMASA DG declared that a sum of N13 billion was remitted to the institution since the rector took over.
Amaechi, who was reportedly alarmed by the sum involved became angry with Okpo whom he accused of feeding him with ‘lies’ about the true situation of the disbursements.
He asked what the huge funds were used for against the backdrop of lack of physical infrastructural development of the institution. To this, Ekpo was said to have given inconsistent and incoherent answer.
The Minister consequently ordered an immediate audit of all the amounts said to have been remitted to MAN since 2009.