OrderPaperToday – Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said the inability of the Nigerian Navy to adequately secure the nation’s waterways is reason why an Israeli firm was contracted to serve the purpose.
Amaechi said this at a hearing on Thursday by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions which is probing the contracting of security patrol of Nigeria’s coastal waterways to an Israeli firm, HLSI Security Firms and Technologies, at the cost of $195 million.
According to Mr. Amaechi, “the Navy has been tested in securing and protection of our waterways despite having all the equipment you can imagine yet we still have cases of our brothers and sisters been kidnapped, raped and killed every day so we decided that look let’s bring in this people who will work with our Armed Forces and train them for three years.”
The Minister who appeared in company of the Director General of the Nigeria Maritime, Safety and Administration Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Dakuku Peterside, gave an analogy to buttress his point thus: “Let me reiterate that a woman who cannot conceive a child; it is not by giving him more husbands that would make her conceive.”
Recall that the investigation came by way of a petition written by some civil society groups which argued that “the implication of ceding the patrol of Nigerian waterways to foreign nations is a great violation on the status and sovereignty of the nation”.
According to Mr. Henry Nwanuba (PDP, Imo), a member of the committee, “the amount of money we are hearing that this project was awarded is huge and am a bit curious”.
The Chief of Naval Staff who was joined in the petition also appeared in person at the hearing though he declined comment because the Navy was yet to be served the petition that he only honoured the committee invitation.
The Committee adjourned further hearing on the matter to 17th January, 2018.