Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, has condemned the activities of cabals, who are undermining efforts to provide security in the maritime sector.
The minister gave the reaction on Thursday at a Maritime Stakeholders Interactive Forum, which held in Warri, Delta state.
He said the cabals and vested interests are frustrating the recently approved $198m maritime security contract.
“There are people who make billions of dollars from the insecurity on the water, so they don’t want security on the water because if we secure the water, all their rubbish will go.
“There are businesses which provide the vessel for oil companies in the name of providing security. The moment we secure the water, they are out of jobs?”
“For ship owners, you need to do a petition to Mr President. The President approved a contract of $195m for maritime security, but there are people in the system sabotaging the contract because it will restore security in the water. I won’t say who they are until it gets out of control. We are still battling for the contract to take place, but if it gets out of place, we will name them publicly, including the security people involved”, he stated.
According to him, insecurity and war insurance in the Eastern ports are the reasons why vessels don’t go there.
“The war insurance means if the goods cost N10,000 in Lagos, it will cost N20,000 here because there is an extra cost on it due to Insecurity issues. Even as a minister, I can’t enter a boat ride from Warri to Port Harcourt due to insecurity issues, but I can move around Lagos at any time of the day,” he added.
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, at the event, said reforms in the sector, has improved Nigeria’s position on the “Ease of Doing Business ratings”.
“It may occur to you that without the maritime sector today in Nigeria, we cannot fund the budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Nigeria has also moved up the ladder on the Ease of Doing Business ratings.
“It is also a fact that because of the new cabotage compliance strategy, today and in the past six months, we have over 200 seafarers onboard different cabotage vessels,” he said.