By Godwin Oritse
THE House of Representative Committee on Marine Safety, Education and Administration has said that the national shutdown has also shut down the oversight function of the Committee.
Speaking with Vanguard Maritime Report, chairman of the committee, Kabiru Idris, said that until everything gets back to normal, the oversight functions of the House remains suspended.
On the outcome of the Committee’s last visit to the Lagos headquarters of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Idris said that he could not say much on the visit and the Committee’s work because of the current situation in the country adding that the oversight visit to NIMASA remains inconclusive.
Recall that Idris had expressed worry over the continued idleness of the agency’s floating dockyard at the Naval Dockyard in Lagos. He lamented that 24 months after purchase, the dockyard has not been put to use.
He also queried the continued daily rental of Fast Security Intervention Boats and demanded to know why the agency was still renting such boat. Idris stated that it was a huge investment to acquire the dockyard adding that it must not be allowed to waste.
According to him, the equipment was meant to develop local capacity in the ship repair sub-sector of the industry.
He said: “It’s a lot of investment to acquire this kind of facility for the development of the maritime industry. Nigeria is a developing country, we are copying from developed countries and that was part of the reason the last administration of NIMASA decided to come up with something like.
“It is very unfortunate that 24 months after procurement, delivery has taken place and nothing has been done; so it is a waste. I feel worried about it; I am so worried about it; my main concern is to find out who is responsible for this and ask questions when we get to their office.
“What does it take us to buy these instead of renting; is it a cartel? Is it that they do not want us to buy, we keep renting? This is something we can do abroad and pay as it comes than paying rent on the ones that are currently deployed; I hope to look into that as well”.