Senate probes alleged sharp practices by security outfits in Lagos Ports

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The Senate has mandated its committees on Navy, Marine Transport and Finance to carryout a comprehensive investigation into the activities of Messrs OMLS Limited and other security agencies at the Safe Anchorage Area in the Lagos ports.

This is to determine the legality of their operations and their revenue and report back to the upper chamber in four weeks.

This is sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator George Sekibo (PDP-Rivers East) during Thursday’s plenary on “Illegal security activities by Messrs OMLS Limited at the Safe Anchorage Area of Lagos Ports and the need to investigate their excesses.”

He noted that it was the statutory responsibility of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Navy and the Marine Police to ensure security and safety within the Nigeria’s territorial waters.

“Safety and security of the Safe Anchorage Area in the Lagos waters where ships going to Lagos ports anchor prior to berthing at any of the ports in Lagos is also within the statutory function of the above named agencies.”

Sekibo further said that the security company registered in the name of OMLS Limited had since 2014, carried out provision of security of the Lagos ports safe anchorage area on fees from vessels without regard to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

He explained that NPA by the Ports Act of 1954 had the responsibility of securing the area.

Sekibo, who is Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, noted that OMLS Limited charged every ship that anchored within the Safe Area $2,500 on the first day of anchorage and $1,500  subsequent days for the period any ship stayed at the anchorage area.

“It takes between 28 to 30 days for ships that anchor at the Safe Anchorage Area to exit,” he said.

Contributing, Senator James Manager (PDP- Delta South) said that marine transport industry, if properly managed, would generate a lot of revenue for the country.

In his remark, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, emphasised “Our committees on navy, marine transport and finance, you have a big responsibility on your shoulders.

”This is a serious matter and we have to treat it as such. In four weeks, we expect that you would have conducted investigation and will report back to the senate in plenary.

“Anything we can find now, Nigeria’s money is something we pursue with utmost zeal and focus.”

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