The security of the nation as stated in this column last week is an exclusive reserve of the Federal Government and should not in any way be delegated to an individual.
If the government for any purpose is desirous of putting the responsibility in the hands of a private security outfit, there must be a genuine cause behind it.
Some of the reasons that could make it worthwhile should be that the private organisation should be an arrangement that will offer the nation a better deal.
The engagement of Global West Vessel Service Limited as the agency to supply vessels for the Navy and other security agencies manning the waterways is a wrong idea because an individual should not be the one to procure facilities for an established force trained in the act of curtailing water vices and should be in the better position to acquire the right war equipment.
The subtlety with which the Federal Government sold the idea of maritime domain security in the hands of private individuals is still a major concern to as many that were privy to the promises made by the government to the nation.
The platform was supposed to work hand in hand with the Nigerian Navy that is, providing vessels for the Navy to fight piracy and theft on waters.
The government had said that the idea was to make the venture a revenue generating model for the country even as it also promised that it would create jobs for the teeming Nigeria youths.
In other words, it was supposed to help solve the massive unemployment in the country, at least, to an extent.
The reverse is actually what is obtained as the venture which was said to generate fund for the country ends up mopping up the country’s meagre resources.
It is much so that the agency which is supposed to provide logistics for maritime domain security is being paid so much for no visible stake in the maritime.
It will appall you to hear that same organisation receives its monthly pay before the staff of the actual government agency saddled with the responsibility of providing security in the Nigerian water fronts.
The nation was promised six thousand jobs from the creation of the security outfit but nothing close to the figure was realised as it was found to be a form of compensation for Tompolo, a former militant.
The said synergy has since turned a medium of placating the creek militants as a means of canvassing support for the government to perpetuate itself in power.
However, the terms and agreement reached at the inauguration of the platform is not in any way felt by the people in the industry especially as crude oil get out of the shores of the country with ease.
In fact, the theft in the waterways had indeed increased as was recently announced by the Coordinating Minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala that 400,000 barrels of crude oil is stolen from the country on daily basis.
This is indeed a confirmation of the claim by the governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola that same quantity of crude oil leaves the coast of Nigeria on daily basis illegally.
The argument then is that if so much is paid to a private company to help complement safety on the waterways, and at the same time, so much quantity of crude oil is taken out illegally through the same route that so much is paid to watch over, it could be said that the arrangement is done to favour a group or section at the expense of the nation.
In addition, the number of jobs that the platform was said to generate is not anywhere in sight. The platform apart from being touted to add to the revenue generation of the country was also said to provide employment for Nigerians but all the promises are now mirage.
The whole drama can be narrowed down to the fact that it is a mere delusion of Nigerians by the presidency with supposed interest to protect.
In other words, the purpose for which the introduction of the Global West Vessel Services Limited was celebrated is still far from being achieved.
Recently, the Nigerian Navy distanced itself from a purported synergy with a foreign firm to carry out security in Nigeria.
Apart from the fact that such arrangement is demeaning, it can also expose the security apparatus of the country to other nations hence the Navy declined the synergy.
The worrisome development however, is the twist in the development; the promise of jobs for the citizens that never came after three years of inauguration and the deceit that it will generate money for the country.
Despite the huge sum amounting to N16 billion worth of maritime Domain security contract that the Messrs.’ Global West Vessel Specialist Nigeria Limited was availed; theft on the high sea is still on the increase.
If 400,000 barrels of crude oil pass through our waters on daily basis, it means something is wrong somewhere because barrels of crude oil are not piece of groundnut that one can easily keep in the pockets without being noticed.
There is definitely more to the contract that meets the eyes. How on earth will security of the waterways be entrusted into the hands of an agency and lots of loopholes are still being found, yet no hoot?