The New Nigeria Collective (NNC) group has asked the management of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) to tread with circumspection in the way it is handling its engagement with the Ocean Marine Solution Limited (OMSL), the company supporting the Nigerian Navy to provide security at the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) of the Lagos delineation of the nation’s waters.
The NNC which stated this while reacting to a statement credited to the NPA in which it threatened the arrest any vessel at the Secure Anchorage Area in addition to sanctioning any ship found within the SSA.
It noted that from every indication, there are some persons within the NPA, who for reasons best known to them that want the OMSL messed up and as a result, have been concocting all sorts of lies and manipulations to justify their premeditated plans.
A statement by the National Chairman of the NNC, Mr Adeola Adewunmi, explained that the fact that Ocean Marine Solution Limited (OMSL) has no business with the NPA in the matter, presupposed that the government agency had been overreaching itself over time even after the Nigerian Senate intervened and asked the NPA to steer clear of the SAA since the contract is between OMSL and the Navy and not directly with the NPA.
Adewunmi noted that more disturbing that the Senate’s recommendation, which gave OMSL a clean bill and urged it to continue with its otherwise patriotic assignment, were discountenanced by the NPA.
In the words of NNC; “Isn’t it also ridiculous that the NPA is now asking the Navy to arrest the vessels they are protecting or do we call this a clear case of incompetence on the part of the NPA leadership?
“Unfortunately, as it stands today, the NPA doesn’t have a 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, as ships are refusing to go there.
“But Lagos that seems to be working is as a result of the patriotic protection that the SAA is carrying out which is about to be destroyed out of sheer vendetta and lack of patriotism.
“Instead of encouraging the security solutions that brought sanity to the Lagos area, all efforts of the NPA management have been to destroy it and bring the Lagos area to the days that ship had to go to neighbouring countries to berth and Nigeria lost a lot of revenue.
“What is even more worrisome is that this service is at no cost to the federal government; so, what is NPA’s problem?” it querried.
The NNC also said that it was embarrassed to learn that despite all the interventions that legitimately stifled the NPA from harassing the OMSL, the government agency has continued to act as if it is not answerable to anyone.
“The silent treatment being meted out to it by the OMSL can only explain why the matter has not needlessly escalated.
“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-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.
NNC stressed the need for the NPA to be called to order to stop distracting the OMSL from doing the job for which it has been globally acknowledged for as outstanding in securing the nation’s waterways.
The group therefore urged the NPA to look ahead and in the national interest and partner the OMSL for productive collaboration in the larger interest.