The appointment of the Recognised Security Organisations (RSO) by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to prepare Port Security Plans and Assessment is currently causing ripples in the maritime industry over service charge.
Terminal operators were particularly irked at the N3 million per Port Facility Security Plan (PFSA) and Port Facility Security Assessment (PFSA) being charged by the RSOs.
It was said that the RSOs had initially sent bills ranging from N3 million to N11 million to the terminal operators as their charges to prepare these documents.
It was further gathered that in the course of protesting the charges, the management of the Tin-Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) initiated a meeting with the Designated Authority being NIMASA to streamline the issue of RSOs charges.
The meeting which was attended by other terminal operators urged the Designated Authority to call RSOs to order with a view to harmonizing the charges.
At the meeting, which was also attended by the Senior Special Adviser to the President Mr. Leke Oyewole, it was agreed that the RSOs should peg their charges at N3million so as standardize the process.
At the last Port Facility Security Ofiicers (PFSO) Forum meeting, the issue of RSOs charges became a heated argument amongst members of the group.
At the meeting, it disclosed that NIMASA never asked that RSOs to charges for the preparation of PFSA and PFSP.
They were of the opinion that the PFSO is an appendage of the Designated Authority and as such should be carried along in the entire process.It will be recalled that the United States Government, through its Embassy in Lagos, cautioned the Federal Government to improve on its ports security system within a stipulated period of time or face the stoppage of sail of vessels to Nigeria.
Information from Vanguard was used in this report.