- As Amaechi Faults Wike On $150m Fraud Allegation
The South African (SA) Navy, five days ago, took delivery of a second South African-built Damen ATD Tug 2909 at the naval base in Simon’s Town, escorted by SA Navy’s existing six tugs,
Specifically, the Inyathi, meaning buffalo, with over 50 percent local input, was on 4 February 2016 welcomed into the naval fleet with a traditional sail past.
Inyathi, the second Damen ATD Tug 2909 in a two vessel replacement contract awarded to Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) after a transparent tender process, followed the first, named Imvubu – meaning hippo – was delivered in July 2015.
The two new tugs which we learnt would be deployed for towing, mooring and fire-fighting operations for the South African Navy’s current and future fleet of vessels under all-weather, heavy sea, restricted visibility, day and night conditions within the confines of the Southern African ports and in coastal waters.
New-built Inyathi and Imvubu joined two Damen Stan Tugs delivered in 2006 by DSCT, then known as Farocean Marine.
“We’re are very happy with the result of this project,” says the South African Navy’s Project Officer Commander Hermann van Geems. “Imvubu has certainly proven her worth over the last 6 months and we expect the same from her sister vessel. Damen has been excellent to work with throughout.”
Contributing to local skills development and job creation, DSCT built the registered SAMSA Class VIII vessels with a South African workforce in keeping with governmental imperatives to create and maintain local job opportunities.
“We are proud that the local content in the two Damen ATD Tug 2909 tugs amounts to over 50%,” says DSCT Chairman Sam Montsi. “The construction of these two vessels has also contributed to South African skills development and job creation through Damen Shipyards Cape Town’s apprenticeship programme.”
The robust and proven ATD Tug 2909 design has excellent manoeuvrability, high indirect towing forces and great stability. Compact and powerful, the ATD Tug 2909 have a bollard pull of 43 tonnes, a length of 29 metres, a beam of 9.98 metres, a maximum speed of 13.2 knots. They were further outfitted with SA Navy equipment to ensure equipment duplication and maintenance saving.
Damen Shipyards Group, with 9,000 employees and operating 32 shipbuilding and repair yards worldwide, has delivered more than 5,000 vessels to more than 100 countries. It delivers some 160 vessels annually to customers worldwide, based on its unique, standardised ship-design, quality concept.
Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) builds ships in Africa for Africa; and to date, the DSCT yard has constructed and delivered 40 vessels to the African continent, which has included offshore patrol vessels, dredgers, tugs, naval craft and platform supply vessels.
In the meantime, former governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has described the statement credited to Governor Nyesom Wike that he spent $150 million during the general election as an imaginary tale, a bogus and fallacious concoction.
Amaechi also said that all efforts by Wike and his cohorts to denigrate his name in the media will fail. In a statement by the media office of the minister, Amaechi said that it was worrisome and sad that Governor Wike picked a church, a sacred temple of God, to tell his tales.
He said, ‘’It continues to baffle us, like most right-thinking Nigerians, that Governor Wike will stand in a church, a solemn place of worship, and carelessly, brusquely tell such a profound lie. He condescendingly descended to falsely and indecorously shout corruption against Amaechi without providing a single shred of evidence to back his claims.
‘’The ‘story-story’ this time is about another phantom $150 million that Amaechi purportedly stole from Rivers State Government coffers and siphoned to his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, within 18 days, from December 1 to 18 of 2014.
This new scurrilous fabrication by Governor Wike is in sync with the one-point agenda of the Wike administration, which is to throw as much mud as possible at former governor Amaechi, hoping that some may at least stick.
All sorts of spurious stories about alleged corruption and stealing of state funds against the Amaechi administration, have been bandied in the media with no attempt to substantiate or prove these distorted false claims that completely make nonsense of common sense.
‘’Even, when Amaechi challenged the Wike administration and its agents to use any constitutionally available legal process or procedure to prove their jaundiced, deceitful allegations against him and his administration, they have rather elected to do their own corruption probe, trial and conviction in the media, and now, even inside our solemn places of worship.
“Why would a government be so determined to desecrate and destroy every institution all in the name of playing politics?’’ He challenged Governor Wike to explain to Nigerians how the money transfer was done and where it was transffered from.
‘’Governor Wike should tell Nigerians who collected the $150 million on behalf of APC. From which state government account(s) was the $150 million taken? How was the $150 million taken and given to APC? Was it by wired transfer from Rivers State Government account(s) to APC account(s)?
‘’Rivers people and Nigerians are indeed sick and tired of this old worn-out trick of Governor Wike to hoodwink and distract Rivers people from the real issues.
Making a new spurious allegation of corruption against Amaechi every day will not make Rivers people forget that most of the beautiful, working institutions built by the Amaechi administration are now being allowed to rot away despite of the billions of naira that had accrued to the state and the billions of naira borrowed by Wike.
Rivers people want to know why weeds and grasses have taken over the beautiful schools built by Amaechi?”
Additional report from Vanguard