Wednesday, February 8, 2012

N16bn Maritime Security Contract: Nigerian Shippers Shun Tompolo’s Firm

31 January 2012

Global West Vessel Specialist Nigeria Limited (GWVSNL), which got a $103.4 million (N16 billion) contract from the federal government in a concession arrangement to secure Nigerian coastline from Lagos to Calabar, is already having hard times with indigenous ship owners, who have decided not have anything to do with the company, as it commences business on Nigerian waters.

The 10-year concession contract awarded GWVSNL, a company believed to be owned by an ex-militant, Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, has been greeted with controversy. The contract entails “monitoring, patrolling, enforcement of conventions and improvement of revenue” and is renewable for a tenure of five years twice.”

Speaking with journalists yesterday, the chairman of the Indigenous Ship-owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Isaac Jolapamo, said he had received several alerts from some of his colleagues that GWVNSL’s officials and agents had allegedly been harassing them across the seas.

Jolapamo explained that, on receiving these complaints, he immediately called the director-general of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, requesting him to “call these people to order”.

Jolapamo said, “I told him in a plain language that we will not deal with any private company asking to regulate our vessels, except officials of NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy who are statutorily empowered to maintain security in our waterways.

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