A coalition of Civil Society Groups (CSOs) has called on the House of Representatives to probe alleged ceding of the patrol of Nigerian coastal waterways to a foreign security firm.
The coalition in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said that as vigilant civil society groups, they were constrained to bring the urgent attention of the general public to the deal.
The statement, co-signed by Mr Samuel Adodo, National Coordinator Empowerment for Unemployed Youth Initiative, and heads of 11 other CSOs, said that such deal violated Nigerian’s sovereignty.
“We have petitioned the National Assembly following a recent report in the newspapers that the security patrol of Nigerian coastal waterways was ceded to a foreign firm.
“It behoves on us to point out the grave national security implication of ceding the patrol of our waterways to foreign nations and firms which is a gross violation of our status as a sovereign Nation.
“Some stakeholders collaborating with foreign firms to throw the Nigerian Navy out of our water ways have orchestrated a proposal which will be presented to the Federal Executive Council to cede the constitutional powers of the Nigerian Navy to a foreign consortium in exchange for the delivery of 100 fast boats to the Nigerian Navy.
“ In other to recoup its investment back, the consortium will be technically dedicated to the maintenance of the vessels while acting in another capacity as a commercial partner to the Navy.
“The purpose of all this is to steal and divert our crude oil through the back door to Global destination and to short change the nation, If the waterways are not effectively Policed by the Navy, then somebody must want that loophole to make gains.’’
He said that the clandestine moves contravened the provision of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The CSOs urged the House to thoroughly investigate among others the procurement process, the award of the contract of 195 million dollars to a foreign firm and also look into the terms and contractual agreement of the contract.
Some other signatories to the statement are Mr Yomi David, Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative and Malam Suleiman Musa, Independent Public Service Watch.