The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said that Nigeria recorded 27 incidents of armed attacks and piracy against ships at port anchorages in various parts of the country in the third quarter of the year.
NIMASA Director-General, Bashir Jamoh disclosed this at the International Maritime Week 2021 with the theme: “Seafarers and Maritime Capacity at the Core of Africa’s Shipping Future.”
While speaking during a maritime security roundtable on the topic, “Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea”, said that the impact of armed and piracy attacks both at the anchorage and the GoG was devastating on seafarers’ and shipping activities.
According to him, the agency would be meeting with the Inspector General of Police to discuss the performance of the marine police and ensure things would be put on the ground for them to complement the Navy.
“There has been a decline in piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, as the region recorded 28 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the first nine months of 2021, in comparison to 46 for the same period in 2020.
“Crew kidnappings in the region have dropped with only one crew member kidnapped in Q3 2021, compared to 31 crew members taken in five separate incidents during Q3 2020.
“It impacted the seafarers and shipping economically such as loss of revenue due to illegal activities, high insurance premium, a threat to commerce; socially such as arm and drug smuggling, kidnapping, restiveness, and others,” he said.
He also said that the environmental impacts are destruction and pollution of the marine ecosystem, which leads to loss of livelihood.
He said that interventions had been introduced through a multidimensional approach to address the situation such as having legal/legislative which are the passage of the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offenses Act (SPOMO Act), review of local laws, others.