Few days after President Muhammadu Buhari cancelled the controversial Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) contract handled by Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMSL), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has taken over the security of the anchorage.
The OMSL contract in partnership with the Nigerian Navy, has been providing security services to foreign ships calling at the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos at $2,000 per day at a designated area in the water called the Secured Anchorage Area, became controversial when the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, in February last year announced its cancellation.
Recall that the ministry of transportation had secured $198million approval from the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to introduce maritime security architecture called Deep Blue Project (DBP).
The DBP will oversee all maritime security matters in Nigeria and all anchorages in Nigeria will now fall under the DBP’s jurisdiction, including the Secure Anchorage Area. This is designed to reduce the need for private security in Nigerian waters, which increases the cost of shipping for goods imported into the country.
However, in an update by Dryad Maritime, NIMASA will deploy two of its intervention vessels at the anchorage to secure vessels set to call at Nigerian port.
NIMASA will deploy DB LAGOS and DB ABUJA with 8 Fast Interceptor attack boats to Lagos anchorage within this week to kick-start the project.
The statement reads, “NIMASA is now set to deploy security assets to provide security for the Lagos SAA. NIMASA will deploy DB LAGOS and DB ABUJA with 8 Fast Interceptor attack boats to Lagos anchorage within this week to kickstart the project.”
“NIMASA will share with stakeholders the mode of operations, reporting detail for vessels entering the SAA and if any charges will be applicable to sustain the project,” the report said.