By DAPO OLAWUNI
Operators of the controvertial Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) contract; Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMSL) generated $17million between January and July 2020 alone, even as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has dragged the firm before the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala-Usman stated these facts during a television programme on Thursday.
Usman lamented these monies collected by OMSL is not in the interest of Nigerian citizens, even as she assured that NPA would not rest on its oars until the activities of the firm is dismantled on Nigerian waters.
The OMSL reportedly collects $2,500 per day from vessels calling in Nigeria in order to provide security for them at a location mapped out on the waterways and described as “Secure Anchorage Area ”
The contract is being run between the OMSL and the Nigerian Navy. Recall that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi had raised an alarm recently, saying that the SAA contract was illegal and should be scrapped.
Speaking, Hadiza said, “On OMSL, it is the secure anchorage area where vessels are made to pay for being secured within the Nigerian ports. And this started in 2013 to provide that platform in partnership with the Nigerian Navy”
“Fast forward to 2017, we felt that it wasn’t necessary for people to be paying money to secure their vessels on water. It is the responsibility of the government through the Navy and NIMASA to secure at zero cost to the owners”
“Just between January and July, OMSL received $17m in revenue for securing vessels and none of those revenues went to the coffers of the federal government.”
Hadiza however disclosed that NPA generated a whoop N291bn as revenue between January to October 2020.
She said there was a shortfall in the revenue compared to what was generated last year 2019.
According to her, NPA generated N298bn last year.
“Despite the challenges within the economy, the Nigerian ports between the period of January to October, was able to raise 291bn as revenue. In 2019, we raised 298bn between January to December. You can see that the differential is marginal”
“In November-December we may be able to meet up to what we made in 2019 or we may not. There was a reduction but it was not huge in terms of revenue.”
The NPA boss said port operations suffered a downtime of two days after recent attacks on port headquarters.
While reacting on the recent Endsars protest hijacked by hoodlums attack on the corporate headquarters, she said, “Regarding our operations, we had a downtime of two days sorting internet services provisions for payment. We were up after 48 hours to continue operations
The offices torched were corporate and strategic communication and some part of the audit department- the windows got burnt but we didn’t lose any documents.
“On one side we look at it as random hoodlums, on the other hand, we also have a lot of questions to answer like why your office? However seven people were arrested and we have CCTV footage of the attack.”