Following a report circulated on the media that the Director General (DG) of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Haruna Baba Jauro allegedly employed his daughter Cynthia James (nee Jauro) and her husband in the agency without recourse to due process, NIMASA has come out to state that the report is not entirely true.
According to the story which originated from Maritime Management Series (MMS) Weekly magazine, Mrs. Cynthia James and her husband, were recently transferred from Port Harcourt, Rivers State to Abuja and were paid transfer allowance that amounted to N2,500,000 and N2,350,000 respectively; a total sum of N4,850,000.
In response to enquiries from The Trent on the story, Lami Tumaka, head of Public Relations of NIMASA confirmed that Jauro’s daughter was an employee of the agency. But, she was not employed during the leadership of her father. She explained that Mrs. James was employed under the leadership of former director general of the agency, Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi.
“Former Miss Cynthia Jauro, the of daughter of Mr. Haruna Baba Jauro, Acting Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was employed about two years ago during the tenure of the then Director General, Dr Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi,” Tumaka submitted in an email to The Trent. “She later got married to Mr. James, who is also a staff of NIMASA.”
She also revealed that employment of close relatives of the top bosses at NIMASA was a common occurrence. “This situation is not peculiar to Mr Jauro. Dr Akpobolokemi and other two Executive Directors – Barrister Calistus Obi and Mr Ezekiel Bala Agaba – as well as several other top management staff have direct relations employed by the Agency,” Tumaka said. “All of these appointments were made years ago. As you well know, Mr. Jauro only became Acting DG in July, this year.”
Tumaka also availed that although it is true that the couple was recently transferred to Abuja, no transfer allowance was paid.
“Mrs. Cynthia James and her husband were transferred from Port Harcourt to Abuja office. No transfer allowance was paid to them,” Ms. Tumaka revealed. “However, they are bonafide staff and entitled to relocation allowance, which is being processed. But they haven’t yet been paid their allowance yet because it is still being processed.”
“According to their grade levels, in line with the Condition of Service, their transfer allowance is certainly not the figure being quoted in the media,” she told our reporter.
Our reporter enquired to know about the issue of staff of NIMASA being owed salaries for August and September, Tumaka said it was not entirely true. She admitted that there was a payment delay for September salaries due to the Buhari government directive on the Single Treasury Account, but the matter had been resolved.
“Staff are certainly not being owed two months salary. September 2015 salary was slightly delayed, because it got caught up in the TSA teething challenge. It has however been paid, so no more outstanding,” she concluded.