By Naomi Sharang
The Senate Joint Committee on Navy, Marine Transport and Finance on Wednesday, asked the Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Mr Dakuku Peterside, to appear before it unfailingly on Thursday.
The committee is investigating the N263.89 billion illegal security services carried out by the Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd. (OMLS) at the Safe Anchorage Area in Lagos Ports.
Dakuku had failed to appear before the panel but was represented at the hearing by the Principal Legal Officer of the agency, Mr Haruna Argungu.
The Committee Chairman, Sen. George Sekibo, told Argungu to inform Peterside to appear before the committee unfailingly on Dec. 5, failure of which a warrant of arrest would be issued against him by the Senate.
The committee refused to honour Argungu in that capacity by walking him out of the session in the presence of the Minister of State, Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki.
Trouble for the NIMASA boss started when Sekibo read out list of heads of Marine Transport agencies invited for the hearing and discovered that Peterside was not personally present.
Sekibo further said that “the investigative hearing was supposed to have been held earlier but shifted to allow Peterside and other key players in Marine Transport to attend the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) conference which took place in London.
“It is annoying that after that grace given to him , he still refused to appear before us.
“This is unacceptable as submitted by other members of the committee,” Sekibo said.
Reacting, Saraki said OMSL contract on security services at the ports had not been suspended or dismantled as claimed by the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Usman on Tuesday .
She explained to the committee that the ministry had scheduled a meeting with all stakeholders on the security services at the ports for Dec. 9, in Lagos.