After a painstaking appraisal of critical players in the Maritime Industry in 2023, using key performance indicators and compliance with best Corporate Governance benchmarks, the Editorial Board of Maritime Media , Publishers of Nigeria’s Flagship Maritime, Shipping World, have unanimously voted DR BASHIR YUSUF JAMOH, OFR as Maritime Man of the Year, 2023.
TV THE MAN JAMOH AND HIS LEGACIES:
Upon assumption of duty as the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh seemed to have brought a magic wand that is turning everything around in the Nigerian maritime industry. This is perhaps not surprising as Dr Jamoh prior to his appointment as CEO of the Agency had put in nearly three decades in NIMASA nay the maritime industry.
From the onset, he had clearly spelt out his administration’s agenda for the industry otherwise called *Tripod S* which refers to: SAFETY, SECURITY and; SHIPPING DEVELOPMENT. Dr Jamoh made no ambiguity over the fact that he was going to prioritize these three critical areas which also represent the core mandate of NIMASA.
It therefore did not take long before this commitment became manifest. One of his major accomplishments was ridding the Nigerian maritime space of criminality for which he has received a lot of commendation including the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Dr Kitack Lim, the then Secretary General of the IMO had penned a letter to Dr Jamoh commending him for turning around the near pariah status which the Nigerian maritime space and indeed the Gulf of Guinea had become.
This achievement can be better appreciated when viewed against the background that in the preceding years, hardly did a day go by without an incidence of piracy, sea robbery and kidnapping for ransom, which had led insurers to charge “war risk premium” on Nigeria bound cargo. But under this dispensation, Nigeria has gone more than a year without a single incidence.
Using the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project, Dr Jamoh has successfully reduced the incidences of piracy, kidnapping, armed robbery at sea and other such incidences to the barest minimum. It is on record that for the first time in many years, Nigeria did not record any piracy incident for more than one calendar year since March 2022.
The Deep Blue Project, a comprehensive approach to tackling maritime insecurity combines technology, water, air and land arsenals with trained professionals on a round the clock basis to ensure that the success achieved so far is sustained. Platforms have also been provided to enhance flag administration and port state control as well as effective enforcement of relevant maritime conventions and protocols.
The administration has also made a bold step towards improving vessel navigation by embarking on an ambitious project of wreck removal which is still ongoing.
Dr Jamoh’s administration has also gone ahead to put in place all the components that make a maritime administration effective. These include strengthening the Agency’s capacity for Search and Rescue operations including construction of befitting Search and Rescue Base clinics at all the Agency’s operational zones.
On the way to achieving this feat, Dr Jamoh sought and extensively engaged stakeholders on this and many other issues plaguing the industry.
Dr. Jamoh can easily be identified as the champion of the Blue Economy in Nigeria as far as awareness creation is concerned. He has at various fora, even before the Federal Government created a dedicated Ministry for Marine and Blue Economy, highlighted the strategic importance of the blue economy to a country like Nigeria which boasts of a coastline of more than 853 kilometers. He had even set up Blue Economy Unit in the Agency.
With the knowledge that improved staff welfare is a motivation for higher productivity, Dr Jamoh immediately set modalities in place to improve staff welfare. It is on record that his administration has done more for staff welfare than what previously obtained.
He has also built befitting office accommodation for the Zonal Offices in Port Harcourt and Abuja. Construction is ongoing in Calabar and Lokoja offices. Apart from providing staff a more decent work environment, the new structures would further boost the image of NIMASA.
Little wonder the man has become the toast of stakeholders within and without the maritime industry.
His cabinet is awash with awards and recognitions for his effort in growing the Nigerian maritime industry.
He is a recipient of the Zik award for Leadership, Man of the Year award of several newspaper titles amongst others. Last year, the Federal Government recognized his contribution to the maritime industry and the Nigerian economy and honoured him with the prestigious award of “Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR). He has also been honoured with the National Productivity Order of Merit award.
With his deep knowledge of the sector built over nearly 30 years cognate experience both in operations and administration, Dr Bashir Yusuf Jamoh OFR is by all standards a maritime expert and would remain a reference point in the maritime industry for many years to come. Jamoh’s investiture is billed to hold at the Musa Yaradua Center in Kaduna in February, 2024 under the distinguished Chairmanship of the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, His Excellency Sen Uba Sani