Partnership with Global West
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) explains why it is partnering with Global West Vessel Specialists Nigeria Limited to secure Nigeria maritime domain.
NIMASA: Why We’re Partnering Global West on Maritime Security
By John Iwori
Nigeria’s apex maritime regulatory authority, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has given reasons why it is partnering Global West Vessel Specialists Nigeria Limited (GWVSNL) to secure Nigeria maritime domain.
It stated that the concession agreement it entered into with GWVSNL does not mean security of the nation’s territorial waters to the firm.
The Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, said the decision, which was taken in the best interest of Nigeria and Nigerians, is to ensure secure, safe and clean maritime domain.
He spoke at an event tagged NIMASA–Stakeholders’ Forum on Strategic Concessioning for Partnership with NIMASA to Provide Platforms for Tracking Ships and Cargoes, Enforce Regulatory Compliance and Surveillance of the Entire Nigerian Maritime Domain, in Lagos.
Naming other benefits of the concession, Akpobolokemi said these include improving revenue performance of not only NIMASA, but other agencies within the maritime industry, such as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), amongst others.
Other benefits include direct and indirect employment generation, reduction in transaction cost and improvement of the overall image of the country.
He explained that the concession, which is on a ‘no cure, no pay’ terms, meaning no financial implication to NIMASA, would be for an initial period of 10 years, after which it would be reviewed.
He added that the concession agreement only allows GWVSNL to provide the platforms, which are to be manned by officials of NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy.
On financial remuneration for the private firm, Akpobolokemi, said the agency and the company have set a benchmark and it is only when the revenue accruing to NIMASA surpasses the benchmark that the company would be paid.
According to the NIMASA helmsman, GWVSNL emerged as the concessionaire, because it was the only company that was willing to carry out the project on a ‘No Cure No Pay’ basis, adding that the process that led to its emergence was subjected to scrutiny by Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP).
Akpobolokemi, who admitted that stakeholders were not consulted in the process leading to the concession, pleaded for calm and forgiveness of stakeholders.
He said that stakeholders’ criticisms of the concession were borne out of the genuine desire by stakeholders for the industry to be well-positioned for greater efficiency, noting that he would equally exercise such fear, had it been that he was not privy to the entire arrangement.
He however said that certain Nigerians, who are criticising the scheme based on politics and ethic dimension, are those who have over the years benefitted from several illegalities been perpetuated on the nation’s waters.
He boasted that it is no longer business as usual, as the agency will come after those individuals through the initiative and expose their alleged nefarious activities on the nation’s waters.
Said he: “The activities of these persons have resulted in economic loss for our nation. Their interest is to siphon our economic wealth”.
Chairman of the Forum, Mr. Chidi Ilogu, while commending the initiative by NIMASA, said that the concession was well-intended and that it would ensure security of the country’s territorial waters and those of neighbouring countries.
Ilogu, however, noted that the initiative can only impact on NIMASA’s efficiency in policing the country’s water, if there is a well-established mechanism to monitor implementation.
Stakeholders, who took turns to speak, lauded the concession agreement, describing it as a right step in the right direction.
Chairman of the Port Consultative Council (PCC), and the Nigerian Seafarers Welfare Board (NSWB), Kunle Folarin, described the concession as a sustainable, effective and responsive effort to curb piracy on Nigeria’s waters. He charged NIMASA to ensure proper monitoring of the concessionaire.
Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), General Secretary, Captain Niyi Labinjo, who described the concession as innovative, said the concession would have been better if the views of stakeholders were sought.
On her part, former President of the Nigerian Trawler Owners Association (NITOA), Mrs. Margaret Orakwusi, said the current effort by NIMASA was not only geared towards Nigeria, but the security of the entire sub-region. She charged the agency to ensure its effective implementation.
Source: This Day Live