The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Transportation is proposing to spend a whopping N8.7billion annually as rentals for fast intervention boats with which it hopes to tackle maritime crimes on the nation's coastal and territorial waters.
In a Memo dated July 2020 and titled, "Memorandum seeking consideration and approval for the extension of the contract for the lease of six units of fast intervention security vessels for a period of 12 months with effect from 1st of October 2019 to 30th November 2020, at the daily rate of $10,500 (Ten thousand five hundred Dollars) per vessel/day", the Minister proposed six companies that will be contracted to supply the boats.
The firms are Pearl H.P.W Limited, Thamson Energy Services Limited, Fairway Offshore Limited, Aquashield Oil and Marine Services Limited,XPO Marine Services Limited and Peace Marine and Energy Limited.
Recall that before the current proposal of boat rental, a similar approval was granted for the same number of vessels, for same amount and for the same purpose in December 2018.
In the Memo, signed by the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, and sighted by Vanguard Maritime Report, the Minister proposed to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, to consider the request for approval considering the efficiency of the vessels at their various locations, their familiarity with the existing operational protocols and the need to ensure that they carry on with the effective coverage of the nation's vast waterways, ports and jetties.
In the Memo, the Minister opined that it was expedient that the six boats intervention vessels remain at their current call up points.
Some of the call up point are Lagos - Badagry axis/Offshore which is allocated to Peace Marine and Energy Limited, Calabar - Eket axis Offshore allocated to Fairway Offshore Limited while Aquashield has its location at the Warri-Escravos Offshore.
Others are the Koko -Sapele axis Offshore operated by XPO Marine Services Limited, Onne - Bonny axis Offshore allocated to Pearl HPW Limited and Nembe- Brass-Yenagoa-Sagbama axis Offshore which is allocated to Thamson Energy Services Limited.
The Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP, in a memo with reference number BPP/RPT/20/Vol.1/005 and dated 29th April 2020, has also granted the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, a 'No Objection' for the renewal of the contract for an additional year.
Part of the Memo reads: "The purpose of this Memorandum is to seek the consideration and approval of the Federal Executive Council for the extension of the contract for the lease of 6 units of Fast Intervention Security Vessels (FISV) on the same terms and conditions as earlier approved by the Federal Executive Council in 2018.
"At the expiration of the lease period and considering that the National Surveillance and Waterways Protection Infrastructure in Nigeria (Deep Blue Project) which was approved by the Council in 2017as comprehensive solution to the problem of insecurity and economic sabotage in Nigeria's waterway was yet to commence and the Agency Approached the Bureau of Public Procurement and granted a No Objection for the renewal of the contract for an additional period of one (1) year from 1st of December, 2019 to 30th November, 2020.
"There is provision in the NIMASA 2020 budget with Code J - 25 tagged leasing of fast intervention for enforcement purposes."