Pressure Mounts On President Buhari To Cancel Tompolo’s Multi-billion Naira Maritime Security Contract

Less than one week after the pioneer chairman of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Alhaji Tijani Ramalan, raised an alarm that the agency pays N1.5bn monthly to Global West Vessel Specialist, a company linked to an ex-militant leader; Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo to protect the nation’s maritime domain, another call has gone to President Muhammadu Buhari to outrightly cancel the controversial contract.

Less than one week after the pioneer chairman of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Alhaji Tijani Ramalan, raised an alarm that the agency pays N1.5bn monthly to Global West Vessel Specialist, a company linked to an ex-militant leader; Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo to protect the nation’s maritime domain, another call has gone to President Muhammadu Buhari to outrightly cancel the controversial contract.
While the ex-NIMASA chairman alleged that despite of the enormous amount being collected by Tompolo, Nigeria still loses more than 400,000 barrels of crude oil daily to unbridled oil theft, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), in a recent statement  expressed disappointment that in spite of the huge amount of money the immediate past administration spent on the contract yearly, “the water ways are still largely insecure and thousands of barrels of crude oil are still lost daily in oil theft and pipeline vandalisation”.
In the statement, the chairman of CSNAC;  Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, said the Buhari administration has no choice than to revoke the contract when more crude oil is being lost to pirates and other oil thieves  daily since the contract was awarded.
“As a matter of fact, crude oil theft increased from 250,000 barrels/day before the contract to 400,000 barrels/day since the ceding of Nigeria’s territorial water to a private company without any record of experience in similar service”, he said.
Mr. Suraju recalled that in 2012, the Goodluck Jonathan administration signed a $103 million contract with Global West to protect the country’s maritime domain and stop piracy and oil theft, a job he explained was the primary function of the Nigerian Navy as spelt out in the constitution.
He also quoted the recent statement by the pioneer chairman of NIMASA, in which he categorically called for the termination of the contract.
The CSNAC argued that since “the Nigerian Navy in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies were established to maintain security of the Federation and her waters”, it is “improper delegation of duty to assign such an enormous task to a private company instead of equipping the relevant agencies to enable them carry out their constitutional role effectively”.
“CSNAC is therefore by this petition demanding the immediate revocation of the said contract and the transfer of the said assignment to the Nigerian Navy and other relevant law enforcement agencies”, Mr. Suraju said.
“Also, the Nigerian Navy and other law enforcement agencies should be equipped with the necessary equipments and resources required to enable them appropriately safeguard our waterways, in order to curb crude oil theft and pipeline vandalisation.
“That way, our economy would experience tremendous revamp as the profit that will be made from the sale of crude oil which hitherto would have been lost can be utilised for the benefit of the Nigerian people”.
But, the former NIMASA boss was quoted to have said that: “Over 400, 000 barrels of crude oil are being stolen daily from our shores under President Jonathan; yet we had a government that has the Navy, the Army and the Air Force, and the government of Jonathan decides to hand over the security of our maritime waters to Tompolo at a very exorbitant amount of money.
“And these same people that are given the job of our maritime security are the ones that are collaborating with the international shipping companies to steal our oil.”