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SAA Cancellation – Ocean Marine Solutions Flays NPA’s Insensitivity

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SAA Cancellation – Ocean Marine Solutions Flays NPA’s Insensitivity

SAA Cancellation – Ocean Marine Solutions Flays NPA’s Insensitivity
October 21
17:46 2019

…How the OMSL Has Been Protecting Nigeria’s Onshore Assets

Without breaking a sweat, the name of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited, OMSL, will instantly pop up when the discourse is about Nigeria’s leading asset protection company dedicated to protecting her natural resources from graft and illegal activities; and has a successful track record of securing strategic national infrastructure and stopping illegal bunkering, vandalism and oil theft.

Over the years, the OMSL, established to enhance the safeguarding of maritime-related commercial investments by offering expert advice and real-time solutions to security problems, has gone further by providing premier security solutions that help to promote a safe business environment not only in Nigeria but the entire West African Coast.

Given this background, its impressive catalogue of corporate social responsibilities and proven integrity in the industry and beyond, the company found insensitive the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA’s allegation, contained in the Thisday publication of October 20th, 2019, that its operation of the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) has constituted a threat to the national security and led to increase in costs of doing business in the nation’s seaport in Lagos.

The Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, had notified the Nigerian Navy of its decision to dismantle the SAA security arrangement and further directed shipping lines to stop paying fees of $2000 on the first day and $1500 every other day as allegedly being charged by OMS onboard their vessels. She noted that it is the NPA’s responsibility to provide security for vessels and crews at the ports and the anchorage and that a letter had been written to the Nigerian Navy to stop the operations.

According to Bala-Usman, “It is established that vessels are directed and regulated to this facility by OMSL, who NPA does not have a contractual agreement or other with. However, the Navy has a memorandum of understanding with OMSL and is providing security to the anchorage. The continued operation of this facility by a private entity could pose a security threat to the nation.” She added, “The safe anchorage has been removed, and we would work with the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA to secure the anchorage. Any attempt to create any insecurity, to justify the establishment of the safe anchorage area, would not be accepted.”

The SAA is a dedicated anchor port in the sea for ships that are waiting to berth in the Lagos seaports at Apapa and Tin Can Island. It is operated on behalf of the Navy by the OMS Limited.

In its rebuttal, the OMSL said it did not intend to join issues with anyone seeking to disparage the company on the pages of newspapers for ulterior motives, stating, “The OMSL is a responsible and professionally run organisation that has enviable track-record of contributing immensely and positively to the economy of the nation, working closely with the Nigerian Navy. This collaboration has contributed to the improved security and tranquillity enjoyed today offshore Lagos harbour approaches, through the provision of platforms and logistics support that enabled maintenance of the 24/7/365 presence at sea necessary to deter the criminal elements.”

The company added, “This has not only given captains of vessels making port calls to Lagos so much peace and comfort, but the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has also downgraded the High-Risk Area (HRA) classification for Lagos waters twice recently as a result of the cooperation. All these positive results are achieved at no cost to the government.”

Therefore, the company stated further that anybody seeking to give the impression that SAA operations constitute a threat to national security simply lacks understanding of the real situation or is being mischievous for personal agenda.

“It is in the light of these that the pronouncements being credited to NPA in this context are seen as insensitive to our commitment to contribute positively to the national cause or outright malicious to criminalize honest intentions to justify scrapping of a credible and working security solution. We wish to enjoin the general public to please disregard the innuendos and seek clarification from the rightful authority on the establishment and operations of the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA).”

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Tunde Babalola
    Tunde Babalola October 22, 19:26

    Here we go again. Instead of improving on the status quo of a smooth operation, all they can see is how to pocket the revenue stream from a laudable service. NPA has a lot on its plate as it is, getting involved with SAA would be catastrophic. This Madam should not listen to the thieves.

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