Nigerian Waterways Security Controversy
The decision of the federal government to hand over the security of Nigerian waterways to a concessionaire is facing stiff opposition from stakeholders.
The recent federal government decision to concession security of Nigerian waterways to a private firm has continued to raise dust in the maritime sector. Most maritime operators and security officials in the country have kicked against the attempt to transfer security responsibilities to a private hand. They have vowed to stop what they term a “risky step” of the Nigerian government.
The ruse over maritime security started a few weeks ago, when the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, signed a contract with Messrs Global West Vessel Specialist Nigeria Limited, GWVSNL, an indigenous firm set up about five years ago. In the terms of the contract, GWVSNL is to provide a platform for tracking ships and cargoes, enforce regulatory compliance and surveillance of the entire Nigerian maritime domain.
The contract was endorsed by the federal executive council, FEC, but maritime operators believe it was fraudulently sealed without going through the due process. Security conscious Nigerians and operators at the seaports are of the opinion that instead of concessioning maritime security to a private firm, the government should provide funds to established institutions like the Nigerian Navy, Marine police, Customs and other agencies which have the experience of securing the Nigerian maritime domain.
Written by Pita Ochai, courtesy of Newswatch.