BY EMEKA ODOM, Abuja and Yusuf Babalola
Dr Dakuku Peterside is the director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Security Agency (NIMASA), who is widely known for his hunger for excellence. EMEKA ODOM, Abuja and Yusuf Babalola, Lagos write about the Peterside narrative in public office.
Dr Dakuku Peterside is one man known by many people for many reasons. From his presence in the Rivers State Ministry of Works; Opobo Nkoro local government council in the state to the Development and Leadership Institute, the National Assembly and now, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Security Agency (NIMASA); those who have worked closely with him always come away with the fact that he is a man who strives to leave a legacy of service, integrity and honesty.
At NIMASA, where he has been the director general since March, 2016 when he was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, he has strived to ensure that the frontline maritime security agency is thoroughly reformed, restructured and better positioned for service delivery.
Dr Peterside has made giant strides in this his new task of building an efficient, effective and world-class maritime security and safety agency.
This astute politician, administrator, mentor, has over the years distinguished himself as a reliable achiever, who in just 365 days in office as DG of NIMASA, has galvanized the intellectual, material and human resources at his disposal at NIMASA to make the once floundering agency alive to its responsibilities, and set it on performance track that has earned it respect in Africa.
Upon his assumption of office, Peterside developed a three-year medium term strategic growth plan which centered on his agenda – reforming, restructuring and repositioning of the agency for efficiency and sustainable growth and development of the maritime industry. This strategic framework is built on five cardinal pillars that include: survey inspection and certification; environment, security, search and rescue; capacity building and promotional initiatives, Not only that, there is also digital transformation, cultural, structural as well as process and procedures transformation.
All these have manifested in concrete terms in various ways in the agency’s operations – rebranding of NIMASA as a foremost maritime security and safety agency in Africa; restructuring of zonal operations; full automation of operations and payment processes; international ship and port facility security code (ISPS); increase in revenue through the billing of pipelines; IMO member state audit scheme; surveillance and maritime domain awareness; capacity development through the empowerment of indigenous ship owners; change of trade term from FOB to GF modular dockyard; Nigerian seafarers development programme; and many other visible progressive steps.
A visit to NIMASA headquarters and zonal offices will reveal a whole new work ethics and heightened morale of the workforce.
In recognition of his purposeful one year of leadership, Dr Peterside was on March 21, 2017, at the Conference of the Association of African Maritime Administrators, elected chairman of the association. Stakeholders in the industry applaud the election as “well deserved,” given Peterside’s illustrious outing so far in NIMASA.
Having contested the governorship election of Rivers State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and lost in 2015, Dr Peterside toed the path of the constitution by challenging the outcome of the election at the election tribunal. In his firm belief of having been robbed of victory, he drove the matter up to the Supreme Court. When the apex court finally upheld the election of his opponent, he put all that behind him, and forged ahead.
That Dr Peterside is making giant strides in NIMASA and earning applauds and recognition for them attests eloquently to the fact that indeed hard work pays.