The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has dismissed a committee report revealing that the Nigerian Navy in partnership with the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) published the Secured Anchorage Area (SAA) in its admiralty chart No.1381 of Lagos Ports, which shows that the anchorage operated by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is ill-equipped.
However, the UKHO claims, which gave an impression that the SAA is not secured, forced the NPA to amend the British Admiralty Chart 1381, repressing the SAA operated on behalf of the Nigerian Navy by OMS Limited.
This was indicated in a document made available to newsmen in response to a petition presented before the National Assembly by a group called Association of Professionals for Safety in Shipping in Nigeria (APOSSIN) over NPA’s position on the SAA.
The document revealed that the UKHO claims is contrary to the assessment of the same facility by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), which commended NPA for the standard of facilities and security at the location.
The document added: “Sequel to investigation conducted, NPA found out that the said SAA was authorised by NIMASA who published a Marine Notice on the existence of the SAA as an additional security service facilities for the provision of dedicated 24/7 watch to vessels seeking extra protection while at the anchorage offshore Lagos. Furthermore, the Authority found that the Nigerian Navy in collaboration with the UKHO published the SAA in its Admiralty chart No.1381 of Lagos Ports Limits and Approaches dated March 10, 2011.
The document said” it is pertinent to state that without prejudice to the powers of the Nigeria Navy, delineation of an anchorage area is the responsibility of the NPA.
In addition, publication of Notices to Mariners on vessels calling at the Nigerian Ports as regard the port limits and approaches is the responsibility of NPA and not NIMASA.
According to the document, “It is in the light of the above observations, coupled with high cost for vessels coming to Nigeria arising from the exorbitant charges being collected by the OMSL that the NPA vide its letters reference dated October 24, 2017 and October 25, 2016 respectively sought the intervention of the Minister of Transportation to dismantle the facility.”
Responding to issues raised by APOSSIN in its petition, the NPA in the document said it did not in any way interfere with the functions of the Nigerian Navy.
The document stated: “The mandate of the Nigerian Navy according to law is to provide security in Nigeria’s Territorial Waters (including the Economic Exclusive Zone).