Nigerian Navy SBS commandos patrol in a RBS Defender boat with a 12.7mm HMG fore and a 40mm AGL aft

Nigerian Navy SBS commandos patrol in a RBS Defender boat with a 12.7mm HMG fore and a 40mm AGL aft

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.”


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies


  1. peccavi says:

    Its all good. In a few years Boko Haram will be supplying MRAP’s and bomb disposal kits to the security forces

  2. beegeagle says:

    Forget the typically ridiculous line of questioning by BBC Hausa. GWVSL were given this contract because Tompolo used to be the biggest militant and biggest bunkerer in the Niger Delta. This is an attempt to use their ‘intelligence’ to fight the menace of bunkering. Since their local champion did not get to win the Presidency, mischievous interpretations are sure to be given to every routine action. I do not expect BBC Hausa to understand what the big idea is.

    It does not matter that in Gombe State, over 5,190 ‘Yan Kalaare’ gangsters have been employed as traffic wardens and security wardens to support the efforts of the Police using their knowledge of the crime and terror scenes)

  3. peccavi says:

    Only in Naija is the reward for unsuccessful rebellion riches

    • doziex says:

      Remember Sons of Iraq as US paid allies, remember Sadr & Badr brigades as police & army personnel. Remember Saddams executioners, shouting “Muqtada, Muqtada” just before he was hung.

      This proxy strategy is a double edged sword. Tompolo would be a very effective adjunct to NA’s containment of the niger delta, but his conversion MUST BE IRREVERSIBLE.

      Rather then the govt allowing him to run an independent operation/company, all echelons of his organisation must be paired up and wedded to operation pulo shield personnel.

  4. jimmy says:

    Let me say this as TOMPOLO ,I don’t PERSONALLY MIND HIS COMPANYGETTING CONTRACTS TO SECURE CERTAIN AREAS OF THE COASTLINE. I have see pictures of the economiC AND enviromental DEGRADATION OF THE NIGER delta and I truly understand the level of frustration and Inherent poverty that exists.
    Fact#1 TOMPOLO recently gave a series of interviews THAT should be regarded WITH CAUTION let me say this people of the Niger Delta have AND continue to well grounded grievances no doubt about it. AS long as tompolo’s company is suboedinate to the navy THERE IS NO PROBLEM. The problem will happen if tompolo starts to believe HE BIGGER THAN THE GOVT
    Fact#2 Tompolo has provided employment out of his own personal money to the unemployed youth HE IS NOW BEING PROVIDED WITH equipment AND INFRASTRUCTURE that wil secure Nigeria’s coast line this should not come back to haunt GEJ because THE TEMPTATION OF BUNKERING are REAL . Also TOMPOLO will be feeding INTO what his real enemies say about him.
    I wish well and truly hope he does that which is required of him remember GEJ wont be President forever.

  5. Henry says:

    #NO COMMENT, I’m indifferent.

  6. tim says:

    Well this guy will have more connections and means to buy weapons , now he is buying gun boats right? Soon he will get himself armed helicopters….. I have to say crime pays in nigeria if you are sucessful and wealthy from it

  7. beegeagle says:

    The FG should guide these acquisitions in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy.

    They have a $103 million contract running here.

    First off, let us SEIZE these ships for an outlay of $7m and have a window of 15 years clear to operate them.



    75m OPV

    Built: 1996
    Status: Available
    Price: USD 4,500,000
    Approx Location: South Africa
    Advertiser: Lager Yacht Brokerage Telephone: 516-767-0141

    33m CPC

    33 metre Coastal Patrol Craft/Troopship
    Built 1992; carries 77 troops
    Price €1.3m
    Contact: Norsk Megling & Auksjon AS
    Telephone: +47 90186230

    43metre Offshore Patrol Craft (US$685k)

    Status: Available
    Price: USD 685,000
    Approx Location: Japan
    Advertiser: Lager Yacht Brokerage Telephone: 516-767-0141

    Next, we get OCEA France to build us a new 32m CPC for $$10.5m and the Damen to build two 83m 1500+ ton Oceanic Research and Fisheries Protection Vessels to be upgunned with 76mm guns and two 30mm CIWSs($42m)

    On that $75m, we would grab three new and used OPVs, three new and used CPCs and six CROQ 1270 inshore patrol craft. That leaves $28m for profit and operating costs.

    They should not spend this money buying speedboats. We should recognise opportunities for what they are.

  8. abdurahman says:

    I pray d decision makers are reading the very insightful posts on this blog.if only the MoD guys can be just sincere with the procurement process.

  9. Henry says:

    It humorous, to be honest guyz.
    If MEND is suppling the navy with ships, like OGA peccavi
    BOKO haram would supply the army with MRAPS
    With boko-haram also suppling the airforce with bombs or better still bomb strapped to human stinger missiles( BSHSM)
    OPC would supply the SSS with intelligence
    Massob, incharge of foreign intelligence and the federal governments reserve army…lol

  10. Donspony says:

    One of my wishes is for the Niger Delta to get the development it deserves after laying the golden egg for so long. The MEND rebellion only benefited the participants and nothing more.
    Let them not forget the other ‘law abiding’ Niger Delta lest a few get jealous and we are back in the war room.

    • doziex says:

      @Donspony, bro it is already happening. Govt largesse targeted at only the militants would not succeed, as the conditions that created the initial militants still fester.

      • Donspony says:

        Oga Henry, it seems only those that have the biggest guns and canons get audience with the government. Now that all the ND commanders are at the top of the food chain and feeding like fat cats, we get to hear nada from them about the state of ND citizens.

        I even doubt if Tompolo knows enough bout Naval military hardware to be offered such sensitive acquisition. Gen Beeg would have been a no brainer!

        However I do pray no such extension of gratuity is however made to the infamous harbinger of Nigerian terrorists, Abu ‘Quack Quack’ as that would constitute a new low from the government.

  11. Spirit says:

    My dear Ogas,
    I was shocked when I learnt about the “unholy” romance between the FGN and Tompolo/Global West. IT’S AN ADMITTANCE OF FAILURE BY THE FGN, simple!
    This kind of alliance will only breed more militancy in the country.
    1)A governor in Nigeria gave N100Million to the relative of a BH killed by Gov forces
    2)OPC members in the South West are being ” honoured” with chieftaincy titles and invited to State functions.
    3) MASSOB members are on VIP protection duties for governors in the East while the State trained SSS/Police are being asked to stay back at home.
    4) Ex-Militants/Oil thieves are buying platforms and equipment for the Navy!
    Haba! That one be the last straw wey they break camels back o.Tompolo and his guys could have been given some other stuffs to do, but not to EQUIP THE NAVY!

    What happens if Tompolo meets a Captain/Commodore etc in a bar? You guys think he will show respect? No! these guys don’t just possess that kind of discipline. I’m sure he will say something like ” O boy, na we buy that boat wey una dey take waka about o”

    No way he can make as much money from supply of hardware as what he can make in a day “thieving oil”. It’s like ASKING A CAT TO GUARD A FISH. How long before it succum to temptation?

  12. Bigbrovar says:

    This is sad and I can imagine quite demoralizing for the Nigerian Navy. Just when you set a limit to how clueless the government can be they just do something which makes you scratch your head. The Federal giving multi million naira contracts to oil thieves and bandits to by platforms for the navy? It’s just beyond believe. And if the BBC carries this news we all would complain that we are being picked on. smh

  13. beegeagle says:

    This is all getting speculative…and BBC Hausa got it wrong. They should have asked themselves why the Minister of Transport and NOT the Minister of State(Defence) it was who responded to them. If they translate that failed propaganda attempt and pass it on to be aired in English, I , Beegeagle, shall crack the whip again.

    The Maritime Guard Command is a quasi-Coast Guard under the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA), which is in turn supervised by the Ministry of Transport. Global West Vessel Specialist Ltd are contractors to NIMASA and part of their working arrangement entails the provision of patrol platforms for NIMASA’s Maritime Guard Command.

    As with hybridized security outfits operating across the nation, the Navy for obvious reasons bordering on knowhow and situational awareness, have been drafted in to steel up the Maritime Guard Command – a supporting and oversight role, that is.This is very normal in Nigerian operations.

    As we speak, another parastatal of the Ministry of Transport – the National Inland Waterways Authority(NIWA) similarly acquired twelve river patrol boats in 2011 from Malaysia which are jointly manned by the Marine Police and the staff of NIWA.

    By the same token, another parastatal of the Ministry of Transport – the Nigerian Ports Authority similarly placed orders for a 32metre coastal patrol craft from OCEA of France and two units of 17 metre interceptors to be built by Kobus Naval Design of South Africa, last month. Those platforms, valued at $20m, shall be crewed by the Nigerian Navy. Have the NPA also usurped the Navy’s role and become a parallel maritime force?

    Elsewhere, the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA) own orange-coloured Mi-17 helicopters. They are crewed by the Nigerian Air Force and NEMA’s Executive Director in charge of Search and Rescue Operations is a serving Air Commodore. Have NEMA become a parallel Air Force?

    Again, the Presidential Committee on Maritime Safety and Security(PICOMSS) own Diamond DA42 MPP and Beechcraft King Air 350 MPA surveillance aircraft. These are jointly crewed by PICOMSS and NAF pilots. Have PICOMSS also become a parallel Air Force?

    Even if BBC Hausa were as well acquainted with these facts and realities, against the backdrop of the poorly disguised gameplan by the upcountry media to thoroughly discredit the FG for no reason other than the fact that President Jonathan is to them “an outsider”, BBC Hausa would pretend not to know better. These are the realities of the times which I was explaining to JHAMILT yesterday.

    * The archconservative power elite and the intelligentsia champion the creation of security threats ala Boko Haram

    * The media contribute vitriolic propaganda

    * The people throw up contrived alarmist tales of abuses supposedly committed by security forces.

    The gameplan is to make the country ungovernable, distract the security forces from pursuing terrorists and to discredit the government. For fear of being exposed by apprehended terrorists, those who are the masterminds of the mayhem are pushing for dialogue. Because the Hausa Service are giving tainted feedback to London in the name of homers’ perspectives, BBC Africa appear convinced that dialogue is the only way to transact with terrorists, even as British forces are deployed against terrorists in Afghanistan and Somalia!

    Nigerians, until the menace posed by terrorism taught them to know better, were averse to defence expenditure. The way I see it, 3rd party intervention by NIMASA through GWVSA and the direct interventions through PICOMSS and the NPA are actually a subtle way of passing the acquisition and maintenance costs of some military platforms and airframes to deep-pocketed organs of the FG and thereby silencing those for whom defence expenditure is anathema.

    This is not peculiar to Nigeria. The Ministries of Fisheries in Angola and Ghana have respectively placed orders for or taken delivery of pairs of 62 metre OPVs and 46.8 metre large patrol craft which are to be crewed by their navies.

    Initially, I raised an eyebrow about this GWSVA contract but after deep deliberations with people in the know, I realised that this is after all a NIMASA logistical affair, even if the Navy are directing the operations. NIMASA , which which earns in foreign exchange, would bear operating, training and maintenance costs, taking that burden off the Navy while making NIMASA-owned platforms available to the Navy. It does not stop the Navy from acquiring their own wholly-owned platforms.

    It all stacks up to multiple streams of platforms’ injection into the entire maritime security domain and thereby increasing the Navy’s options in times such as we are living through.

    Concerning GWSVA, it is the case that the Niger Delta militants, pirates and bunkerers have a superior knowledge of the labyrinthine maze of 3,014 creeks and waterways where these atrocities are perpetrated. It is not peculiar to Nigeria. During the Vietnam War, the littoral warfare action favoured the homers even with all the advanced technology available to the Americans. Well, the Mekong Delta is smaller than the Niger Delta and the hydrography is less complex as well. America relied heavily on the South Vietnamese to guide them through the Mekong delta.

    When the Nigerian military first embarked on military operations in the Niger Delta during the Nigerian Civil War in 1967, the amphibious landings of the troops of 3 Marine Commando Division in their tens of thousands was a roaring success for our rookie troops – Escravos, Forcados, Burutu, Bonny, Opobo, Eket, Oron, Onne, Calabar etc.

    Given their total lack of familiarity with the truly daunting terrain, it was NOTHING other than the collaboration with the locals who guided them through which ensured their safe passage.

    Well, come 2006 when the Niger Delta Insurgency kicked off, it was a nightmarish experience for the earliest contingents of troops who this time, were ranged against the locals and received no cooperation from them as had been the case in 1967. The troops saw hell in the creeks which to them must have looked like standing in front of 300 crazily striped zebras and being asked to pick out one for uniqueness.

    Do not forget that the suggestion was once up in the air that the FG should recruit ex-militants as pipeline guards for much the same reasons of their better understanding of the local terrain and the bunkering syndicates,practices and routes of the Niger Delta, having themselves benefitted immensely by funding their armed struggle with proceeds derived from bunkering, piracy and kidnapping.

  14. beegeagle says:

    Cumulatively, I spent 13 years schooling, working and/or living in the Niger Delta – in Port Harcourt and Warri. I was fortunate to have spent two years at the Shell Petroleum Development Company as a youth corper and a contract employee. Shell Petroleum are dispersed operationally across the Niger Delta. I also come from the South South region of Nigeria.

    If ANYONE tells you that enforcing maritime security in the face of all the gun running, latent insurgent action, piracy and bunkering in a wetlands region the size of Scotland and Belgium put together, with 10,000 kilometres of pipelines and 3,014 creeks and waterways is a cake walk which any make-believe Rambo from outside can undertake all alone by blood and thunder, that person factually lives an illusion.

    Reality underpins the NIMASA-GWVSA collaboration. I would not begrudge anyone who does not appreciate the enormity of the task at hand and is exasperated but a careful study of the underpinnings would prove to be an eye opener.

    Tompolo was the supremo of the most capable militants and he was a mega-scale bunkerer. He is Nigeria’s equivalent of Colombia’s Pablo Escobar – only substitute the cocaine trafficking for oil bunkering. I doubt that I would be alarmed or raise a whimper if the JSTF captured Mallam Abubakar Shekau today and turned him into a pathfinder in their quest to decimate terror cells upcountry. Sounds like a good idea? Well that is what Tompolo has been drafted to come and do for NIMASA.

    Thank you for your time and have a thumping weekend all.

  15. jimmy says:

    Let me say this the truth and reality about this situation is much more complex and painful to understand. My mother (name withheld) worked for one of the big THREE OIL(shell, texaco mobil) companies in Nigeria and reached the highest ECHELONS OF POWER any time there was an oil spill we knew and lots no ….sorry Tons of money was given to state govt officials and to the traditional and local govt leaders (1980s-1990s) together with every imaginable food provision. The truth of the matter was these so called local and state leaders swallowed the money no effective cleanup was done and everyone waited the next oil spill as a bonaza.
    @oga peccavi,oga doziex,oga bigbrovar,The inherent failure especially at the FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL GOVT LEVEL to take care of massive unemployment, total environmental degradation,lack of fishing employment which had been the backbone for centuries led to this vacuum
    Let me go on record whether it is TOM ATEKE, TOMPOLO, BOYFACE(?)DON’T KNOW A SINGLE ONE OF THEM , THEY filled this vacuum and also paid a heavy price but they are viewed by the people in the region as people who will provide jobs ,stability, and peace. one of the reason why (the NN ) has been succesful is because of the lethality of their weapons and training being used in conjuction with the local intelligence that is readily available,we have seen the rout of the 3rd phase ammnesty (whateverthey call themselves within days).
    HOWEVER peccavi based on your experience you cannot patrol not just the thousands of creeks, waterways,little uninhabited islands even with the best equipment and most disciplined soldiers and also the best on the ground intelligence .The Govt has to do something whereby the conditions no longer exist for these type of things to forment.As despicable as it is the u.s. govt is speaking to the Taliban in QATAR.
    THE MEND struggle put an uncomfortable spotlight on the riverine governors who until this started with the exception of Gov Duke were bury linining their pockets one of them who somehow mangaged to get a permeanent injuction against the EFCC.Enter GOV Rotimi AMAECHI who went the hawkish /carrot route and then things started to change,also add the fact one gov was sitting in a london jail (Alams) THEN THE CONDITIONS START TO RIPEN FOR CHANGE.

    • peccavi says:

      I tend to look at security in a holistic manner, in that I believe violence and the use of violence should be calibrated and only used as a last resort, thus I’m a strong believer in if you desire peace prepare for war. But I also believe in speak softly and carry a big stick. In essence like you I was in that area during the 80’s oil spills were not the issue they were today but the problem grew and grew. We would not need a highly militarised Niger Delta if local leaders did their duty, in fact that area is ripe for eco tourism.
      War is simply an extension of policy by other means however if force or violence is the first resort then that policy is faulty. So I would rather the FG did not buy boats upon boats to patrol the Niger Delta, I’d rather they spent the money on a comprehensive clean up programme. When the place is returned to a state where people can work legitimately security concerns will reduce. The focus of the Navy should be policing our coastline not internally

  16. Spirit says:

    Beeg, thanks for this info you’ve just provided about the situation in the Niger Delta, it’s an eye opener for me. I get the picture clearer now.

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