Monday, June 18, 2018
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Nigeria cancels maritime security contract

Nigerian Navy Sentinels.Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has cancelled a $195 million deal with HSLI for maritime security after allegations of fraud and corruption.

Nigerian media report that Buhari cancelled the contract via a memo dispatched by his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, directing Attorney General Abubakar Malami, to terminate the contract and for the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) to investigate how the contractor obtained security clearance without an end user certificate.

Buhari also ordered HLSI Security Systems and Technologies to supply equipment equivalent to the $50 million upfront payment it received from Nigeria.

Nigeria on 30 October 2017 announced that it had signed a three-year $195 million maritime security contract with HLSI Security Systems and Technologies. Much of the contract was to focus on training Nigerian military and law enforcement agencies to combat maritime crime.

The contract apparently also included the acquisition of special mission aircraft and 12 interceptor boats for the Nigerian Navy, amongst others.

In January this year, Nigeria’s House of Representatives criticized the management of the Nigeria Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for awarding the contract to HLSI, saying it is a breach of Nigeria’s internal security, and defies local content laws.

Another Nigerian defence deal that has come under scrutiny is for the supply of Shaldag patrol boats to the Nigerian Navy. In March this year Israeli officials arrested three Israel Shipyards employees over a suspected bribery scandal.

According to Haaretz, the chairman of Israel Shipyards, Samy Katsav, was questioned by police on 19 March and released to house arrest. Katsav controls 20.25% of Gold Bond, which is the parent company of Israel Shipyards.

Israeli officials are looking at the sale around ten years ago of two Shaldag patrol boats to the Nigerian Navy worth $25 million. The Nigerian Navy received at least four Shaldag Mk II patrol boats between 2009 and 2013, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s Arms Transfers database.