25 July, 2012
A company, Global West Specialist Agency, believed to be owned by a former Delta militant, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a Tompolo, has been given a huge contract, with the influence of President Goodluck Jonathan, to supply 20 patrol vessels for the use of Nigeria’s military authorities in securing the country’s coastline.
The Minister of Transport, Senator Abdullahi Idris Umar, revealed this to the BBC Hausa service, monitored in Abuja. The Minister, who did not mention Tompolo’s name but that of the company, added that the company has already supplied eight vessels of the 20 vessels included in the contract agreement.
Although the Federal Government has always declared that the security of Nigeria’s coastline is ultimately the prerogative of her Navy, ex-militant Tompolo’s company continues to enjoy the patronage of multimillion-dollar contracts from the Nigerian presidency. Mr. Umar did not mention the cost of the contract, either.
But he said that Global West Specialist Agency will also consult for the government in securing the Nigerian coastline, thereby rendering the Nigerian navy secondary to the firm. He also said, “We did not say that the company will take over responsibility of the Nigerian Navy, the company’s job is to just buy the vessels and other components needed in securing the coastline. And the partnership reached has nothing to do with them taking over functions of the navy.
As if anticipating popular criticism in the country, the Minister said, “There is nothing like navy has failed; the issue is not that. The partnership is legal but not taking official functions of the navy. If we guard this coastline it will boost our revenue,and the reforms meeting we are doing is to bring change.”