Sen­ate probes al­leged shady deals by se­cu­rity out­fits at La­gos ports

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - FRONT PAGE - From Az­i­mazi Mo­moh Ji­moh and John Akubo, Abuja

• Urges Buhari to ap­point Abuja na­tive as min­is­ter • Seeks in­quiry into N8 bil­lion dam in Niger

THE Sen­ate yesterday man­dated its com­mit­tees on Navy, Ma­rine Trans­port and Fi­nance to carry out a com­pre­hen­sive investigat­ion into the ac­tiv­i­ties of Messrs OMLS Lim­ited and other se­cu­rity agen­cies at the Safe An­chor­age Area of the La­gos ports.

Ac­cord­ing to the News Agency of Nige­ria (NAN), the team is to de­ter­mine the le­gal­ity of their op­er­a­tions and rev­enue and re­port back to the up­per leg­isla­tive cham­ber in four weeks. The res­o­lu­tion was se­quel to a mo­tion spon­sored by Ge­orge Sek­ibo (Pdp-rivers East) dur­ing ple­nary on “Il­le­gal se­cu­rity ac­tiv­i­ties by Messrs OMLS Lim­ited at the Safe An­chor­age Area of La­gos ports and the need to in­ves­ti­gate their ex­cesses.” He had noted that it was the statu­tory re­spon­si­bil­ity of the Nige­rian Mar­itime Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nige­rian Navy and the Ma­rine Po­lice to en­sure se­cu­rity and safety within the na­tion’s ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters.

Sek­ibo fur­ther said the se­cu­rity com­pany reg­is­tered in the name of OMLS Lim­ited had since 2014 al­legedly car­ried out pro­vi­sion of se­cu­rity at the fa­cil­ity for fees with­out re­course to the Nige­rian Ports A uthor­ity (NPA). He ex­plained that the NPA by virtue of the Ports Act of 1954 had the re­spon­si­bil­ity of se­cur­ing the area.

Sek­ibo, who is chair­man of the com­mit­tee on na vy, claimed that the se­cu­rity firm charges ev­ery ship that an­chors within the area $2,500 on the first day of an­chor­age and $1,500 daily sub­se­quently.

“It takes between 28 to 30 days for ships that an­chor at the Safe An­chor­age Area to exit,” he said.

Con­tribut­ing, James Man­ager (PDP – Delta South) noted that the ma­rine trans­port in­dus­try if prop­erly man­aged would gen­er­ate a lot of rev­enue for the coun­try. In his re­mark, Sen­ate Pres­i­dent Ah­mad Lawan re­minded the com­mit­tees that they have got a ma­jor na­tional as­sign­ment at hand, urg­ing them to han­dle the task with the se­ri­ous­ness it de­serves and keep to the time­line.

Be­sides, the Sen­ate Com­mit­tee on Ethics, Priv­i­leges and Pub­lic Pe­ti­tions has rec­om­mended that a na­tive of the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT) be in­cluded in the Fed­eral Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil as a sub­stan­tive min­is­ter in def­er­ence to an ex­ist­ing court or­der.

At the end of a pub­lic hear­ing on a pe­ti­tion sent to the red cham­ber re­gard­ing the ag­i­ta­tion by na­tives of Abuja on the mat­ter, the com­mit­tee chair­man, Ayo Pa­trick Akinyelure (PDP – Ondo Cen­tral), stated that Pres­i­dent Buhari would be in­formed of the de­ci­sion.

Sen­ate Pres­i­dent, Ah­mad Lawan (mid­dle), and oth­ers dur­ing the ple­nary of the up­per leg­isla­tive cham­ber in Abuja…yesterday.

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