Minister of Transport suspends Secure Anchorage contract
HomeNewsMinister of Transport suspends Secure Anchorage contract
The Minister of Transportation, Honorable Rotimi
Amaechi confirmed yesterday the suspension of the Secure Anchorage
Area(SAA) contract operated by Ocean Marine Services Limited (OMSL).
Amaechi said the reason for the suspension is because
the operation of the Secure Anchorage Area Contract is illegal and does not
conform with the Nigerian constitution.
He made this known while speaking to the press
after a closed door meeting with top shipping security agencies on the Deep
Blue Project with the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Maritime Administration and
Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian
Shippers’ Council (NSC).
During the press briefing, he said paying, Ocean
Marine Services Limited (OMSL) for private security at the port is wrong and
should be stopped. He said: “I took the decision to terminate the contract because
there is nowhere in the world where private individuals protect a nation.
The Secure Anchorage contract shows that there is systemic failure of our maritime
security in Nigeria and it is a problem that must be corrected.”
He also revealed that it was his decision and not
the decision of the Nigerian Port Authority to terminate the contract. “I have
ordered the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) to write to all involved parties. We
must understand that it is the responsibility of the government to protect both
persons and investors. If I allow this to continue then I have failed.”
The Minister also said stakeholders were
beginning to raise concern on the state of security in the maritime sector and
its effect on businesses. He said the upsurge in the maritime sector called for
immediate attention and the Federal Government is on top of it.
Responding to questions about the number of maritime
security assets available in the country, Director General, NIMASA, Dakuku
Peterside said “The first phase of equipment comprising six Interceptor Boats,
one Special Mission Boat, six armored vehicles, as well as arms and ammunition
have arrived Nigeria.”
Dakuku continued: “A second Special Mission
Vessel will arrive the country in February, while an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
(UAV) will arrive before the end of February. Also, a Special Mission
Aircraft will be in the country before the end of the first quarter this year.
We are expecting the helicopter before the end of the first quarter.”
“Almost all the communication equipment are in
the country already and the Command, Control, Computer Communication and
intelligence (C4I) center is fully operational in Kirikiri”, he also added.
He assured that between now and June, 80 per cent
of the gadgets will be in the country and will be manned by the Nigerian
Amaechi stated that the operations will be in the
community and not on the water “those that perpetuate evil live among us
and not in the water. When you arrest them there will be nobody going to the
waters and you’re going to save the country a lot of money”, he therefore
called for cooperation and advised that Nigerians shun all forms of tribalism.
In addition, he said that once the security
architecture is upgraded, the menace of oil bunkering will be tackled headlong
and gradually phased out.