The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has said that the deal between the agency and the Global West Vessels Specialists Limited, allegedly belonging to former Niger-Delta war-lord, Tompolo, did not in any way encroach on the constitutional duties of the Nigerian Navy to protect the nation’s maritime coast.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Mr. Haruna Jauro, stated this on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 during a courtesy visit to the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, at Naval Headquarters, Abuja.
Jauro, while fielding questions from journalists, debunked claims that the agreement between the NIMASA and Global West overlaps the statutory responsibilities of the Nigerian Navy.
He was emphatic that the contract with Global West was not an attempt by the agency to hijack the functions of the Navy.
He said: “It does not. Yes, it does not because the Navy is one of its kind and no one is willing to go there and take anything from them.
“What Global West is doing is just to help NIMASA to look a the issue of that takes place in the waters, to push them back and I think we have done our best with them. So far the level of piracy has reduced in the Lagos area.
“We don’t have much reports of them again and they have been pushed towards the Delta area and we have been following them. And I think Global West has been instrumental to that so far. It (the contract) is supposed to be for ten years. It has run for three years.”
Speaking further, NIMASA DG also debunked the rumour and reports that the federal government has terminated the contract with Tompolo’s firm, saying the contract was designed for a 10-year period.
He disclosed that maritime agency’s deal with Global West had been running for three years now out of the 10-year period covered by the contractual agreement.
According to Jauro, the firm which was mandated to provide platform to NIMASA to fight the scourge of piracy in the nation’s territorial waters, “have been able to reduce drastically, the scourge of piracy in the Lagos area”.