The acting Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Haruna Jauro yesterday denied that he, at any time, defended the controversial maritime security contract awarded to Global West Vessel Specialists Nigeria Limited (GWVSNL) – a company allegedly owned by former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpomupolo, otherwise known as Tompolo.
In a statement issued on his behalf by NIMASA Head of Public Affairs, Hajia Lami Tumaka in Lagos yesterday, Jauro said he was “quoted completely out of context”.
She said, “Reports have been making the rounds since the working visit of the Acting Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Mr. Haruna Baba Jauro to the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas on 29th of September 2015 that the DG defended “Tompolo’s maritime security contract” with the Agency.
“But for the fact that the DG was quoted completely out of context, the Agency would have ignored these reports.
“It is instructive to note that Mr. Haruna Jauro did not at any point during the said visit, or at any other fora for that matter, defend ‘Tompolo’s maritime security contract’ because there is no such contract in the first place.
“What the DG said and which should be put on record is that “Global West Vessel Specialists Limited (GWVSL) has an existing Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with NIMASA wherein the vendor’s mandate involves procuring, bunkering and operating platforms on behalf of NIMASA on a Supply, Operate and Transfer (SOT) basis for a 10 year period as approved by the Federal Government in 2012 and it is presently in its third year”.
“According to Mr. Jauro, the vessels, which ownership will revert to NIMASA after the contract period, are manned by officials of NIMASA and personnel of the Nigerian Navy for the enforcement of the Agency’s mandate.
“This is not the same thing with a maritime security contract as many publications have alleged. It is therefore mischievous for anyone to allude that the Director General of NIMASA has defended a maritime security contract being executed by Tompolo on behalf of the Agency.
“The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Ibas also re-echoed this position at the same event when he said “we (Nigerian Navy) provide security, we arm those ships. The Nigerian Navy is fully manning those boats and we still do”.
“It has become necessary to clarify this position as it is capable of misleading unsuspecting members of the public.”