Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi yesterday said Some powerful Nigerians are frustrating the $198m maritime security contract approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum organized by the Nigerian Maritime Administrator and Safety Agency ( NIMASA), in Warri, Delta State, Amaechi vowed to publicly mention names of saboteurs.
He said : ““Reason, why vessels will not come to the Eastern ports, is because there is war insurance due to insecurity in the ports here.
“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.
“I once asked a former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, why people from Anambra don’t import from Port Harcourt port, and he said it cost less to import from Lagos and move to Onitsha even with the price they pay on the road. It is cheaper to import from Lagos to Aba, yet Aba to Port Harcourt is a 30-minute drive.
“For shipowners, 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.
“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?”