NIMASA budgets overhead will account for N24b in 2019

Matthew Otoijagha

For the year 2019, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) overhead will account for N24 billion.

Speaking in Abuja last week, Director General of the agency, Dakuku Peterside explained that capital expenditure will cost N17. 6 billion while maritime fund projects will cost N71.01 billion.

Meanwhile, NIMASA generated N22.9 billion to the consolidated revenue fund in 2018. Peterside explained that this is the highest ever contribution coming from NIMASA since its inception.

The NIMASA boss, who disclosed this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Marine and Transport in Abuja, said NIMASA proposed N112.1 billion for the 2019 fiscal year. According to him, “In the year under consideration, NIMASA expects that our total budgeted revenue will be N112.1 billion. That’s the total budgeted revenue for 2019.

“Out of this total budgeted revenue, on personnel emolument, we proposed to spend N20.1 billion.

Overhead will account for N24 billion. For capital expenditure, which will be basically to fund ongoing maritime projects, it will cost N17. 6 billion. And for the maritime fund projects, it will cost N71.01 billion.

“Mr. Chairman, distinguished senators, our contribution to the consolidated revenue fund has consistently been on the increase in the past few years. In 2018, we contributed a total of N22. 9 billion. This is the highest ever contribution coming from NIMASA from its inception till date. It will interest the distinguished senators to know that in the past three years, our contribution to the consolidated revenue fund has surpassed every known record before now,” he said.

He said the agency, in the year 2019, would be focusing on closing out all ongoing projects. “We will also pay special attention to maritime safety as we prepare for the IMO elections,” he said. The agency boss said NIMASA would continue to give priority attention to maritime security which has been a challenge for some time.

“We are prioritizing our interventions under a program called the Deep Blue Project which was conceptualized to provide an integrated national surveillance and waterway protection solution with a command and control infrastructure in the country which will see us purchasing a number of special mission aircraft, helicopters for intervention, armored vehicles for intervention, etc.,’’ he said.

Mr. Peterside told the committee that the agency did not want the country to be known as hot spot of piracy “which is the challenge we are facing now. So, we are paying very serious attention to the area of maritime security,” he remarked.

As part of its effort, he said the agency would host a global conference on maritime security in the country in October to get the world to focus on the Gulf of Guinea. Peterside, who thanked the House of Representatives for the passage of Suppression of Piracy Act, called on the Senate to also follow suit.

Responding to a question by Ohuabunwa Mao (PDP-Abia) on why the agency plans to generate N16 billion to the consolidated revenue fund in 2019, Mr. Peterside said “nobody has control over issues of security and emergency.

“We are devoting a lot more attention than normal to the issue of maritime security,” he said.

He noted that though the N16 billion is only a projection, the agency would spend some of the funds generated to tackle maritime security. “As we raise more revenue, we contribute more if we raise less, we will contribute less,” he said.

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