In a swift reaction to Nigerian Ports Authority’s (NPA) recent call for the termination of Secure Anchorage Area (SAA), the management of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMSL), has faulted NPA’s reasons for such call, even as it rebuked NPA for delving into matters beyond its purview.
The private company has stated that it has a genuine contract with the Nigerian Navy, noting that contrary to the alleged security threat by NPA, its services has helped reduce piracy in the region while the services attract no addition cost to the government as insinuated by the Authority.
NPA had earlier written to the Nigerian Navy in a letter dated October 9, 2019, with Ref: NHQ/CNS/015/54/00/Vol.X111/695, revealing that the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi had requested the termination of the contract on grounds that the Anchorage Area is an integral part of NPA statutory responsibility while the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Marine Police and Nigerian Navy ensure safe and secure Nigerian territorial waters.
Meanwhile, the management of OMSL have maintained that the company hasn’t disregarded the classified nature of the area stating that, “OMSL is working under the Nigerian Navy (not NPA) operates the Secure Anchorage Area, a relationship that has been communicated and NPA duly acknowledged the occurrence by publishing the Marine Notice in 2014”
“Just like the Nigerian Navy cannot prescribe any arrangements NPA has with any company to deliver on it’s mandates, NPA has no authority to disband an arrangement by the Nigerian Navy that is providing security offshore for members of the shipping community that choose to use the services”, the management said.
The company also clarified that the $2,000.00 charged per day was simply to cover the cost of procuring the patrol boats, and providing the logistics to operate them to achieve the 24-hours presence required to deter the criminal elements.
“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 company assured that it would continue to operate as a responsible and professionally run organisation with track-record of contributing positively to the economy of the nation, working closely with the Nigerian Navy.
This collaboration with the Navy is believed to have contributed to the improved security and tranquility enjoyed today offshore Lagos harbour approaches, through provision of platforms and logistics support that enable round-the-clock surveillance at sea.
Global reports also indicate that piracy in the region has dissipated with the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) also downgrading the High Risk Area (HRA) classification for Lagos waters twice recently as a result of the efficient cooperation between the Nigerian Navy and OMS, yet the positive results attract no cost to government.