Coalition urges National Assembly to probe alleged ceding of waterways to Israeli firm
A coalition of civil society groups has urged the National Assembly to probe the ceding of Nigerian coastal waterways to an Israeli firm.
In a petition to the lawmakers, the group disclosed that the contract was awarded to HSLI security firm and technologies at the cost of $195millon.
Solomon Adodo, Yomi David, and Suleiman Musa, issued the statement on behalf of Unemployed Youth Initiative, Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative and Independent Public Service.
According to them, the move contravenes the provision of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which empowered the Armed Forces to defend Nigeria on land, sea and air.
They argued that the ceding of the waterways to a foreign firm, as confirmed by the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, was an aberration.They described it as a threat to the country’s sovereignty and a grave danger to national security.
The coalition of 11 civil society groups had further alleged that the Minister of Defence, Dan-Ali Mohammed, planned to cede other national facilities.They cited the planned ceding of the constitutional powers of the Nigerian Navy to Shorefac Consortium Limited, in exchange for the delivery of 100 fast boats to the Nigerian Navy.
According to the group, the decision, which would be presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting next week, was taken in collaboration with some foreign firms.
The coalition cautioned that the decision would throw the Nigerian Navy out of our waterways, adding that to recoup its investment, Shorefac Consortium would be technically dedicated to the maintenance of the vessels, while acting in another capacity as a commercial partner to the Navy.
They further alleged that the desperate move to remove the navy from policing the waterways was to steal and divert crude oil through the back door.They said: “If the waterways are not effectively policed by the navy, the implication is that those involved in the plot are trying to create some loophole to make gains.”
The group disclosed that the plan would negate the provision of part 1, section 4, particularly sub-section A of the Armed Forces Act, which provides that: “The navy shall in particular, be further charged with enforcing and assisting in coordinating the enforcement of all customs, laws including anti-bunkering fishery and immigration laws of Nigeria at sea.
They expressed concern at the implication of a sovereign nation ceding the control of its waterways to foreign entities without considering the inherent danger.
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