In a bid to tackle security challenges facing the country in the sea, like the alarming rate of crude oil theft, the Federal Government yesterday approved N12.14 billion for maritime transportation and the purchase of six fast moving security boats
In his weekly press briefing immediately after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Information, Labaran Maku alongside his Transport counterpart, Idris Umar said the decision was taken to check the emerging security challenges in the country.
According to him, Council's approval of the contract for the design and construction of fast moving security patrol boats was in line with the new international guidelines and security regime required for enhanced comfort to shipping.
The minister said FEC also considered the importance of the two 17 Manta Mk Aso boat before approving the procurement of the contract, "which enhance security at the Lagos pilotage district".
The contract, he said, was awarded in favour of Messrs Kobus Naval Design (Nigeria) Limited in the sum of $9.43 million inclusive of all taxes with 12 months completion period.
Maku said Council also approved award of contract for 32M Manta MK ASD in favour of Messrs OCEA of France in association with Anglestone Limited in the sum of $10.45 million with 12 months completion period and the procurement of three Fast Moving Security Boats in favour of Messrs Oil Response Limited, in the sum of N233.62 million to be supplied within six months.
FEC also gave its nod for the procurement of four Fast Moving 40-45 passengers Water Buses to improve transportation on the Inland Waterways.
"These Water Buses are expected to serve Port Harcourt to Onitsha, Calabar to Oron, Yenagoa to Nembe-Brass, Marina Lagos-Mile 2", the minister noted, adding that the project would create jobs for Nigerians and provide alternative mode of transportation.