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Senate okays private security operation in Lagos ports

Senate okays private security operation in Lagos portsThe Senate on Wednesday approved the operation of the Ocean Marine Solutions Limited at the Lagos ports.

The Nigerian Ports Authority had in October suspended the activities of the OMSL, which is providing security at the Secured Anchorage Area of the Lagos ports.

The NPA had alleged among others that the operation of the private firm in such sensitive area posed a security threat to the nation and could be at a great loss to the Federal Government.

The matter was investigated by the Senate Joint Committees on Marine Transportation, Finance and Navy led by Senator George Sekibo.

The panel submitted its report on Wednesday at plenary and gave the operation of the OMSL at the ports a clean bill of health based on its recommendations.

The Senate ruled that, “since no fraud was found in the operations of the OMSL and it is operating at no cost to government, it should be allowed to continue its operation at the SAA until such a time when a better and more cost-effective system is put in place by the government.”

The red chamber also said the Nigerian Navy should be properly funded to enable it to procure needed vessels to clear the over 150 vessels deficit.

It said doing so would enable the navy to carry out their constitutional responsibilities without over-depending on private maritime logistics support companies.

However, a member of the joint committee, Senator Ahmed Kaita, disagreed with the position of his colleagues, insisting that he did not sign the report presented by Sekibo.

He further warned the Senate against putting the security of the nation’s territorial waterways in private hands.

Kaita’s argument was, however, punctured by the Minority Leader,  Enyinnaya Abaribe, who noted that the firm was actually doing what the Nigerian Navy could not do.

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