By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Director General of the Nigerian Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA) Eng. Nnajiuno Ogbuagu has taken a swipe at former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan on maritime affairs, Mr. Leke Oyewole for criticizing the cancellation of the Secure Anchorage contract by Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Amaechi on Monday had declared the secure anchorage contract operated by a private firm; Ocean Marine Supports Limited (OMSL) as illegal and had pronounced it cancelled.
Oyewole had reportedly condemned the actions of the minister, saying that he does not have such security mandate.
In a reaction with DAILY TREND NEWS, Eng Ogbuagu who is a former Executive Director of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said that Leke Oyewole lacks the expertise to speak on maritime affairs.
He argued that Rotimi Amaechi has all the mandates to make any pronouncements he deemed fit, be it good or bad on maritime security in Nigeria’s maritime domain from the shoreline to the limit of Nigeria’s EEZ.
According to the NISA top shot, all over the world, maritime administrations are usually in control of maritime safety and security of waterways, and they are usually on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for their countries maritime affairs.
He said that since the Ministers in charge of maritime affairs of their countries also supervise their maritime administrations, there is no doubt they have overriding roles in over sighting maritime security in whatever manner it is called.
According to Eng Ogbuagu, all maritime administrations give their military and paramilitary institutions orders when their coastal waters’ safeties and securities are being breached and they respond to such orders based on the laid down operational procedures of each country.
He said that Nigeria should not be an exemption, even as he frowned at the endless and fruitless Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which NIMASA has been signing with the Nigerian Navy.
Speaking, he said “People should be mindful of what they say after drinking free wine, whiskey and what have you”
“So long Mr. Amaechi remains Minister of Transport and Supervises the activities of our one and only maritime administration (NIMASA), he has absolute mandate to stop such contract be it good or bad”
“NIMASA is equivalent to: MCA, USCG, MPA, SAMSA, AMSA, DMA, to mention but a few of maritime nations’ administrations. Nigerian Navy is not our maritime administration, not in charge of Maritime Security in the manner of IMO regulation of international shipping”
“Our Navy is in charge of and protection of our territorial integrity (look up what that means). US, British, Singapore, South Africa, Australia, Greece, Norway, South Korea, Japan, Denmark, Panama. Bermuda, Canana, in fact 183 member States of IMO, maritime administrations attend IMO meetings not their Navies”
“Most of us mariners in our sea carriers or sailing days witnessed these seamless procedures. I do not know why it is too different here in Nigeria that our Navy cannot be instructed by NIMASA but enter into endless and worthless MOUs that produce no results”
“My question is; who is Leke Oyewole to talk on maritime issues especially on maritime security? That the government of Dr. Jonathan dashed him come and chop appointment as SSA on Maritime, shouldn’t be enough for him to speak in this manner”
“He cannot offer the technical knowledge that he doesn’t have. Unfortunately, we have many Leke’s in positions of authority in maritime sectors. My question is; how do we stop these charlatans and interlopers from interfering in maritime affairs”