Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transport
The $198 Million maritime security contract awarded to an unnamed Israeli firm last year by the Buhari administration through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Administration NIMASA is seriously under threat as the nation’s House of Representatives has called for it outright cancellation.
The House Committee on Public Petition equally called for the stoppage of all funding of the contract by NIMASA insisting that it was not appropriated by the national assembly. The House condemned the contract and said it was a contract entered into against the national interest of Nigeria as it would lead to a capital flight of over $200 Million.
However, the Minister of Transport Hon Rotimi Amaechi has come out to brandished all opponents of the maritime security contract as people with vested interest other than the desire to protect the nations territorial waters and make it safe. Amaechi said those benefitting from the illegality and insecurity in the nation’s waterways are pushing hard for the cancellation of a contract which is set to turn around the nation waterways and make it safe and commercially viable.
Amaechi & Dakuku Peterside
Speaking during the launching of a book ”Beacons of Maritime Industry” Amaechi reiterated the belief that it is in Nigeria’s benefit and success that the contract is allowed to run. The nation’s waterways will be better secure and free from criminality if the contract is approved argued the Transport Minister.
According to him” There are too many interests that are benefiting from illegality and insecurity. They are the people fighting it. Give Isreali and Nigeria six months, the water will be free from any form of crime. Some people want the killing and the piracy to continue so that they can be making more money to the detriment of the Nigerian people, but we will not allow that.”
Amaechi also used the occasion to comment on the delay in the release of Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund CVFF which has pitted ship owners against NIMASA over the accessibility of the facility.
According to Amaechi “ The cabotage fund is there for them (ship owners) to access. But then they must meet the requirement for them to access the money. The cost of a vessel is three times much more than the cabotage fund. So they must show evidence that they have their own contribution before we can make the money available because we can’t make it available to one person. So it is either they come together because it will be difficult to share the money,”