- Says Navy in deficit of 150 patrol boats
By Samson Echenim
The Senate Joint Comittee on Finance, Navy and Marine Transport has absolved maritime security firm, Ocean Marine Solutions (OMS) Limited of any fraud and recommended that the company continue its contractual partnership with the Nigerian Navy on provision of maritime security at the Secured Anchorage Area (SAA) for international ships coming to seaports in Lagos.
The committee presented its report on Wednesday at the plenary and gave recommendations which were reached after intensive consultations, analysis of presentations and submissions.
The committee found that “the Nigerian Navy are currently in deficit of about 150 patrol boats that would help it in checkmating the insecurity in the Nigerian sea and ports; and that two out of the three patrol boats given to the
checkmating the high rate of attacks on vessels waiting to berth at the Lagos ports.”
The committee said OMS should be
commended for its genuine national interests in investing over $400 million into the SAA in particular and the Nigerian waterways in general by providing the needed platforms and logistics for the Nigerian Navy to
effectively perform 24/7/365 patrol operations as well as to provide the required protection for vessels waiting to berth at the Lagos ports.
The committee said, “Since no fraud is found in the operations of the OMSL
and is operating at no cost to government, OMSL 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.
“That the Nigerian Navy should be properly funded to enable it procure needed vessels to clear the over one hundred and 150 vessels deficit to enable them carry out their constitutional responsibilities without over depending on Private Maritime Logistics Support Companies (PMLSC),” the committee concluded.