In a bid to maintain peace and order, a pro-democracy group, the New Nigeria Collective (NNC) has called for the Federal Government intervention over the rivalry between the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and Ocean Marine Solution Limited (OMSL).
The group,in a signed statement issued by the National Chairman, NNC, Mr. Adeola Adewunmi, was asking the Federal government to quickly mandate the NPA management to stop distracting OMSL from doing its job.
He said that OMSL is the firm lending support to the Nigerian Navy towards providing security at the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) of the Lagos delineation of the country’s territorial waters.
Adewunmi noted that the group was reacting to a statement recently issued by the NPA and published in a national daily, where it threatened the arrest of any vessel at the SAA, and that any ship found there would be sanctioned also.
He maintained that the unexplainable rivalry between the two parties was gradually becoming a threat to national security, regarding the sensitivity of the assignment that the OMSL is handling for Nigeria in partnership with the Nigerian Navy at SAA.
“The fact that OMSL has no business with the NPA in the matter presupposes that the government agency has been overreaching itself over time even after the Nigerian Senate once intervened and asked the NPA to steer clear of the SAA because the contract is between OMSL and the Navy and not directly with the NPA,” he said.
The statement further noted that after Senate’s recommendation, which gave OMSL a clean bill to continue with its otherwise patriotic assignment, the NPA still went ahead to disrespect the nation’s Senate.
“Unfortunately, as it stands today, the NPA doesn’t have any security architecture in place in the Lagos area, not to mention the Port Harcourt area, where pirates’ attacks are uncontrollable and cost of shipping to Port Harcourt has become astronomical because ships refuse to go there.
” But the Lagos that seems to be working because of the security provided by OMSL at the SAA is about to be destroyed out of sheer vendetta and lack of patriotism by the NPA.
“Instead of encouraging the security solutions that have brought sanity to the Lagos area, all the efforts of the NPA leadership have been to destroy it and bring the Lagos area to the days that ships had to go to neighbouring countries to berth.
“This has made the country to lose a lot of revenue and what is even more worrisome is that this service is at no cost to the federal government.
Adewunmi further stated that it was embarrassing to learn that despite all the interventions that legitimately barred the NPA from harassing the OMSL, it has continued to act as though it was not answerable to anyone.
“The truth of the matter is that the NPA does not even have the power to arrest or announce the arrest of anyone.
“In the very worst-case scenario, if there are infractions at SAA, all that the NPA needs to do is report such to the Navy, which will in turn address the matter.
“But, having followed closely the operations of the OMSL at the SAA, it does not take much to see how the company has been providing the much-needed logistics for the Navy to function and be on top of their assignment.
“But this is the kind of support that the NPA has refused to give, even when it was approached,” Adewunmi said.