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June 13, 2024

No rift over Acting MD’s appointment – NIWA

The National Inland Waterways Authority(NIWA) has denied reports of a rift within its management structure over the appointment of the Acting Managing Director, Surveyor Olawale Adetola.

The authority also commended the immediate past Managing Director, Chief George Moghalu for handing over to Adetola, who is most senior General Manager, in line with the extant rules.

Alhaji Jibril Darda’u, Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, made the remarks in a statement issue in Lokoja on Monday.

Darda’u emphatically said that there was no rift among the general managers over who should head the Authority in acting capacity pending when the federal government will appoint a substantive managing director.

He described as unfortunate the action of a group, Maritime Pressure Group, which berated the performance of Moghalu, whose four years tenure came to an end on Sept. 29, and for handing over to Adetola in acting capacity.

“The group’s discredit assertion on the four year administration of Chief George Moghalu is not true, as it’s an act of sponsored blackmail, considering his landmark achievements during his tenure. This is verifiable to the general public.

“It is a known fact that Chief George Moghalu, being a seasoned politician, and a technocrat, that did not hinder his official performance in NIWA, rather he infused his experience, culture and innovation of the private sector for the success recorded in NIWA so far.

“The fact is that Chief George Moghalu, being a law abiding citizen, handed over the leadership of NIWA to the most Senior General Manager on the exact date his tenure ended during working hours and not in the night as purported.

“We will continue to reiterate that Chief George Moghalu tried his best in uplifting and developing the Inland waterways sector. He left NIWA better than he met it,” he said.

However the acting MD, Surveyor Olawale James Adetola, is a Master’s degree holder, a professional surveyor and a registered member of SURCOM.

Adetola had joined NIWA in 1992 and was promoted to the post of a General Manager in 2018.

He was the pioneer General Manager, Business Development and later head the Procurement Department among other positions in the Authority.

Next in hierarchy to Adetola is Fibersima Tamunokubie, GM, Area Offices Coordination, who joined NIWA in 2004 and became a General Manager in 2018.

Other General Managers are Engineer Fidelis Aghahi, (GM Port Services), was promoted to the post of GM in 2019, while Mallam Girei Yusuf, GM, Finance, joined NIWA in 2004.

Also in the hierarchy are Acting General Manager, Legal, Nasiru Bayankare; Acting General Manager, Marine, Dakio Horsfal; Acting General Manager, Internal Audit, Japhet Maisaje; Acting General Manager, Engineering, Fidelis Ejike; and Acting General Manager, Human Resources, Mallam Abdullahi Dabai.

Others are Acting General Manager, Research, Planning and Environment, Mallam Muazu Dan Azumi; Acting General Manager, Procurement, Mallam Ibrahim Isyaku Sade; Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Jibril Darda’u and Acting General Manager, Survey, Surveyor Henry Adimoha.

Some NIWA staff, who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity, said the atmosphere in the authority has been good devoid of any hitch or tension since the former MD handed over to Adetola as the Acting MD on Friday, Sept. 29.

“How can anybody say that the Acting Managing Director is a junior general manager and also a placeholder for the former MD. Mr Adetola is the most senior among the General Managers in NIWA presently.

“According to NIWA nominal roll, Mr Adetola joined the Authority in 1992 and became GM in 2018. He has spent over 30 years in NIWA, and by all standards, he is the most qualified for the position of the Acting Managing Director.

“The former MD, Chief George Moghalu, who handed over to Mr Adetola, spent four years in NIWA and knows the most senior among the general managers. People are just creating problems where there are none.

“The Acting MD has barely spent a week. Moreover, he is an easy going man, accommodating and love by most staff,” one of staff said.

They noted that the staff were going about their normal activities without complain since the Acting MD mounted the saddle of leadership in NIWA.

“I’m not aware of any complain or tension in NIWA over the appointment of the Acting Managing Director.

“As one of the union leaders, whoever is going about complaining, he or she is doing it for personal gains not in the interest of the workers,” said one of the staff who pleaded that his name should not be mentioned.

The staff called on the Federal Government, especially the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Chief Adegboyega Oyetola, to ignore the alleged complaints by some purported aggrieved workers, describing them as “faceless individuals”.

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