Recently, the former chairman of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Ahmed Ramadan, disclosed that during his tenure the agency entered into a contract agreement with Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, a company linked with Mr Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, a former Niger Delta militant.
The contract, reportedly valued at $103million, outsourced part of the security of Niger Delta’s maritime waters and creeks to his company. The contract was signed in 2012 on former president, Goodluck Jonathan’s watch. Based on the agreement, Mr Ekpemupolo’s company allegedly goes home with about N1.6billion every month. The implication of this is that the protection of that part of Nigeria has been ceded to him to ensure. Experts at the time the contract was signed insisted that it was illegal and unconstitutional, as it encroached on the duties of the Nigerian Navy. Considering the relevance of that region to the economy of Nigeria, many thought it was wrong to have conceded the security of that area to a private company.
This allegation of a monthly N1.6m, if true, raises several relevant questions. First, as the pioneer chairman of the organisation, Dr Ramadan should have seriously protested the signing of the agreement, since he believed it was wrong and if there was nothing he could have done about it, he should have honourably resigned. Instead, he went on to complete his tenure. For reasons best known to him, it is now, after the exit of President Jonathan that he is speaking up on a matter that occurred on his watch.
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