‘Secure Anchorage Area wooed investors back to Nigeria’s maritime sector’
Chairman of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMSL), Captain Hosa Okunbor, has insisted that prior to the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) contract, maritime investors were avoiding Nigeria, adding that the initiative brought safety to the nation’s maritime territory.He stated that the sudden stoppage of the contract by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) without regards to OMLS’ investment was not only embarrassing to his person, but also capable of taking Nigeria back to the pre-SAA days.
In a statement, Okunbor, who spoke in Abuja during an investigative hearing by the Senate’s Joint Committee on Navy, Marine Transport and Finance, has his view corroborated by industry experts, who said the NPA’s action could expose the waterways to insecurity, thereby resulting in huge economic loss to the maritime sector.
His words: “OMSL started in 2007 at the height of militancy where this country would have been producing less than 300 barrels per day. The late Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, who was the first chairman of OMSL and ex- Chief of Naval Staff, was the one that came up with this idea.
“At the time, it was just an intervention and we wrote to the Navy In 2007, and we bought three vessels to begin business because it was pertinent to open Mistras which shut in 70,000 per day. There were bullet holes on Shell’s EA field. Adax was attacked on a daily basis and Shell was going to close the whole of their eastern production.“There were numerous challenges on our waters and we came in to intervene for the sake of national interest.”