A group, Vanguard Against Corruption (VAC) has petitioned the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas, and the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Abdullahi Gana Mohammadu, accusing some companies based in the United Kingdom, of of operating illegally on Nigerian water ways.
It alleged that the companies, including Zeal Global Maritime Solutions, EOS Risk Group, ARC Africa and others were providing security escort operations to foreign cargo vessels and Tankers entering Nigerian waters, without Naval and NSCDC approvals, and payment of requisite taxes to the Federal inland revenue services.
The group, in the petition signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Bakumo Eliot claimed that these companies, some with no known address in Nigeria, took advantage of the lapses in the Nigerian maritime domain by using some Nigerians as fronts to perpetrate the illegality.
It further claimed that Nigeria looses huge amounts in revenue due to operations of these companies as they are neither registered companies in Nigeria nor pay the requisite taxes and revenue due the country.
It could be recalled that recently officials of one of these companies and their Nigerian accomplices were sentenced to imprisonments and a fine of N60million by a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt for aiding and abetting kidnapping in our water ways.
The officials were found guilty of contravening the anti-piracy laws of the federal republic of Nigeria by paying ransom to sea pirates without the knowledge of the security agencies, thereby making our waterways unsafe and internationally notorious for such illegalities.