On Friday, December 10, Merchant Sail Navy International Security, a private marine security outfit established and registered as a security body under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Abuja which operates under the laws of the Companies Allied Matter Act (CAMA) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria marked the second year of its establishment and passed out new inducted officers.
The Commander General of the security outfit, Captain JohnLinus Okoronkwo, used the occasion to clear the air on the recent arrest of a group of merchant navy saying his organization was not in any way affected by the recent pronouncement made by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu that merchant navy has been proscribed by the federal government. He explained that in the year 2010 the Merchant Navy was tagged illegal and was banned in Nigeria. This was as a result of the illegal activities witnessed by various marine operators then, and that no license or registration with the name Merchant Navy was issued to regulate the association’s operations.
“In the year 2010, the Merchant Navy was tagged illegal and was banned in Nigeria because of the Illegal activities which include impersonation and fraudulent conduct and reason that there was no license or registration with the name Merchant Navy to regulate the association on the operations and activities, therefore the activities of those operating with the name merchant navy becomes illegal and such association is declared fake.
“On December 10, 2019, Marchant Sail Navy International Security, a private marine security outfit was established and registered as a security body under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Abuja which operates under the laws of Companies Allied Matter Act (CAMA) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and this our organization today become only registered sail navy in the country. We have a deep history of our organization as a reserved marine force, duly verified and registered with the Nigeria Corporate Affair Commission in Abuja. We have an origin, we are an international body formed under the US marine department and we are registered to operate in the 36 states of Nigeria.”
Asking if there is any understanding between the organization and the police in Lagos about its operation, Okoronkwo explained that “following our last passing out parade, we wrote a letter to the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Lagos State, Lagos Commission of Police, and even the divisional police command in Lekki, intimated them of our Lagos establishment and our operation to flush out illegal operators, the AIG following our letter invited us to a meeting, it was at that meeting we made clear fundamental difference between the outlawed merchant navy and our organization. The meeting was a successful one, we were able to prove to them that our organization, Merchant Sail Navy International Security, popularly known as Sail Navy is a legal outfit evident in our verifiable registration with the Nigeria Corporate Affair Commission. Though there are so many outfits that answer the name merchant navy, many have no document of registration and these are illegal operators that should be brought to book. However, he advised those that believe they were registered to always use their name to operate rather than using the names they were not registered with.
“Merchant Sail Navy unlike the other unregistered operators, don’t impersonate Nigerian Navy. We don’t use camouflage or naval items, but what we have is the general marine white outfit. Our air plate and name tag bear no resemblance with that of the Nigerian Navy. The active-duty navy uses Nigeria Navy as a badge, we use Nigeria Sail Navy with our name and logo boldly written on it. We don’t engage in a duty we are not approved to do, rather we handle our jobs according to what the CAC approved for our organization, and the more license we acquire the more Operations we carry out.
“We don’t recruit the un educated, we observe membership induction program when recruited. To join the outfit, you must first apply for the membership form. Our members are professionals and educated, cutting across various professions; barristers, doctors, engineers, accountants, administrators, lecturers, graduates and non-graduates alike etc who are willing to join the outfit and contribute their own quota towards protecting lives and property especially in the maritime sector. They are all well informed, they know their boundary and their right and they knew they belong to an organization that is duly registered, so they cannot be harassed.”
Speaking on the bill, Nigeria Coast Guard, which has already passed the first and second reading at the Senate. He said such a bill, if it eventually sailed through and passed, would be a step in the right direction, believing it would make maritime safety and activities adequately regulated.
The Commander General listed the core duties of its organization as approved by the CAC as to carry on the business of protecting lives and properties; implementing the objectives of the local contents act and other relevant shipping laws; carry on the business of establishing shipbuilding company; establish a world standard maritime institution and provide a professional maritime training; provide security equipment and professional security; provide trained security dogs; carry on the business of promoting agriculture; stopping of illegal oil activities; regulate maritime activities and prevent illegal oil production such as bunkering and to carry on the business of general contracts, and general merchandise.
Addressing the successful new officers of Merchant Sail Navy batch 007MNF. He encouraged them to fit the organization’s standards, maintain peace and discipline, and protect the law. Report all unusual/illegal acts to the Law enforcement agency (Police). With this, the Merchant Sail Navy will continue to excel.