Firm tackles NPA over Anchorage security contract.

 

Abiola Seun      |       

Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMSL),an indigenous company implementing the contract on Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) in collaboration with Nigerian Navy, has said that it has improved the level of security at the Lagos anchorage and harbours at no cost to the federal government.

In a press statement made available to newsmen yesterday, the company, reacting to a recent publication credited to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) alleging that the contract constitutes security risk to the nation, hence it should be cancelled, the company said that NPA has no right to cancel an arrangement and contract it had signed with the Nigerian Navy.

OMSL also said its collaboration with Navy has contributed to the improved security and tranquility enjoyed today offshore Lagos harbour approaches, through provision of platforms and logistics support that enabled maintenance of security presence at sea necessary to deter the criminal elements.

It says that this has not only given captains of vessels making port calls to Lagos so much peace and comfort, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has also downgraded the High Risk Area (HRA) classification for Lagos waters twice recently as a result of the cooperation.

According to OMSL, the $2,000 charge per day from vessels is simply to cover the cost of procuring the patrol boats, and providing the logistics to operate them to achieve the round the clock presence required to deter the criminal elements.

It says the SAA is complementing government efforts rather than opposing them and should be encouraged as a successful home-grown solution to make the nation’s maritime domain safer and more secure.

The press statement reads “Our attention has been drawn to some article quoting statements and opinions on the operations of the SAA purported to have been articulated by MD NPA; and several other publications in recent times casting aspersions on the integrity of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMSL)

“While we do not intend to join issues with anyone seeking to disparage our Company on the pages of newspapers for ulterior motives, we wish to state that OMSL is a responsible and professionally run organisation that has enviable track-record of contributing immensely and positively to the economy of the nation, working closely with the Nigerian Navy”

“Anybody seeking to give the impression that SAA operations constitute a threat to national security, simply lacks understanding of the real situation or is clearly and mischievously spreading falsehood deliberately for personal agenda.

“It is in the light of these that the pronouncements being credited to NPA in this contest, are seen as insensitive to patriotic contributions of honest Nigerians or malicious to criminalize the efforts in order to justify scrapping of a credible and working security solution”

“We wish to enjoin the general public to please disregard the innuendos and seek clarification from the rightful authority on the establishment and operations of the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA)”

The company also said its security contract with the Navy was duly communicated to NPA and it was duly acknowledged through publishing of a Marine Notice in 2014.

It reiterated that the SAA arrangement is working and has helped to reduce the piracy occurrence in the region, and most importantly, at no cost to government

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