10 Months After: NIMASA PR Unit Still Floats Without Direction, Nor Stability

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It’s about ten good months since the former NIMASA spokesman and Head of Public Relations Unit, Mr Philip Kyanet voluntarily retired from NIMASA PR services. 

Since then, the Bashir Jamoh – led apex maritime agency is yet to appoint a substantive Head for the all important PR department as the unit still floats without any sense of direction and stability in the hands of an Assistant Director who has been unable to refocus and stabilize the unit for some obvious reasons.

The prolonged delay by the NIMASA DG to either appoint a new Head for the unit or promote Mr Edward Osagie to head the Unit shows how irrelevant the unit has become in the scheme of things for the current NIMASA management. 

Otherwise, one wonders how a grade ‘A’ agency like NIMASA could have functioned for 10 whole months without a spokesman either substantive or in acting capacity. 

As much as I can remember, after Mr Kyanet retirement, there was no official memo or press statement from DG directing any of the top two Assistant Directors in PR units to function in acting capacity until a substantive Head is appointed. Things were left as they were.

Mr Edward Osagie, Assistant Director, NIMASA PR Unit.

However, in the very first press statement he signed and sent to newsman after Mr Kyanet retirement, Mr Edward Osagie eagerly designated himself and signed the Press Statement as Head of NIMASA PR, but later corrected it in a subsequent one, saying it was a mistake and properly designating himself as Assistant Director. 

Although we pressmen laughed over it when he sent us the corrected version, but it could also be a calculated mistake, an indirect way of saying, “promote me as Head of the Unit”. But 10 months after, neither Osagie nor any other has been appointed the substantive Head of NIMASA PR. 

Why has NIMASA management failed to appoint a substantive Head of PR for the agency, 10 months after? This question takes us back to the real issues and suspicions surrounding Mr Kyanet’s voluntary retirement. 

Recall that after the news of his voluntary retirement broke in May 2021, an insider source gave two reasons for Kyanet’s voluntary retirement.  

Mr Philip Kyanet, former Head of NIMASA PR Unit

That time, Ships and Ports reported that an impeccable source stated thus: “I don’t know why he decided to quit at this time but I know he wants to take advantage of the golden handshake available to staff of his cadre.

“Also, I know that the Corporate Communication unit is not as vibrant as it used to be. The work he should be doing is now being done by someone else in the office of the Director General. I think Mr. Kyanet no longer finds fulfillment in the role,” the source said. 

If what this insider source told Ships and Ports is anything to go by, it means that the second reason is the real reason why Mr Kyanet actually chose to voluntarily retire, not to take the ‘golden handshake’ as was widely publicized. 

And if that is the case, it then explains why NIMASA management has not been bordered to consider appointing a substantive PR Head as the current arrangements serves them right. 

This means that the general public and the entire maritime media should continue to witness a continuous lack of direction and stability in the PR Unit of NIMASA with its attendant consequences on our collective good unless our “round peg in round hole DG” does the needful now.