OMS to NPA: We've nothing to hide
The Executive Chairman of the Ocean Marine Solutions (OMS), Capt Idahosa Wells Okunbo, has dismissed allegations of fraud in its maritime security engagement saying many sponsored publications in the media were targeted at tarnishing his image and that of OMS.
In a statement, Okunbo said with all its patriotic contributions to the maritime industry, OMS deserved “commendation, not condemnation. Profit has never been our motivator. We believe in our country, so we serve with our heart and might.”
Okunbo said the company has nothing to worry over or fear in any inquiry of its operations.
“The publications were intended to malign, demean and impugn my hard earned reputation as well as that of OMS.
“For the purpose of setting the records straight, we have never been fraudulent in our operations since we entered into contractual engagement with the Nigerian Navy. The so-called ‘N263b’ payments exist only in the warped imagination of those that cooked up the figures.”
On the controversial Secure Anchorage Area dispute with the Nigeria Ports Authority, the OMS boss said contrary to the erroneous impressions created, “we have actually saved our country money that would have been lost to vandals and bandits by bearing risks on behalf of anchoring ships transiting or making port calls to Lagos. In the past six years of the SAA operation, a 100 percent success rate has been attained as there has not been any successful pirate attack on any vessel utilising our services at SAA.”
He urged the NPA to retrace its steps in the SAA notice it issued to maritime stakeholders, “in the interest of our country.”
In recent times, OMS had been embroiled in disagreement with the Nigeria Ports Authority over the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) with NPA issuing Marine notice discontinuing the arrangement with OMS. There have also been unsubstantiated reports of bogus payments to the company, which has prompted a senate committee invitation to the company.
“We are transparent in our operations. We are patriotic. We love our country. We have nothing, absolutely nothing to hide,” he said.