West African Piracy And Crew Kidnapping A Major Setback To Maritime Industry
West Africa piracy attacks and crew kidnapping has reportedly increased twice in 2017 comparing the report obtained from the OBP in 2016.
The west African piracy attacks have placed a major setback to the maritime operations, likewise to the economy of the countries involved.
Following the reports as published by NGO Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP), haven’t seen a decrease in the Somali pirates hijacking attacks in 2016, it seems to have spreads and rapidly increasing in West Africa.
According to the reports, the present piracy attacks were reported in West Africa, with the majority of them occurring in Nigeria. This is confirmed by a recent International Maritime Bureau ( IMB ) report, which says that ” a total of 20 reports against all vessel types were received for Nigeria, in 2017, 16 of which occurred off the coast of Brass, Bonny, and Bayelsa. Guns were reportedly used in 18 of the incidents and vessels were underway in 17 of 20 reports. 39 of the 49 crew members kidnapped globally occurred off Nigerian waters in seven separate incidents. Other crew kidnappings in 2017 have been reported 60 nautical miles off the coast of Nigeria ”
In regards to these reports, most investors, ship operators don’t wish to invest, visit or work in such area. This has massively decreased the trades and creating less opportunity for the seafarers.
Nigerian maritime authority effort
In the effort to stop the recent increase in piracy and kidnapping attacks in Nigeria waterways, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) being head by Mr. Dakuku Peterside are making way to obtain strategic maritime safety and security assets, including vessels. The move is aligned with the total spectrum of the country’s maritime security strategy, as recently approved by the Federal Executive Council.
Furthermore, NIMASA who has been collaborating with the Nigerian military most especially the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Airforce will continue on their efforts to minimize piracy and maritime crime in Nigerian territorial waters.
The director general (DG) of NIMASA, Mr Dakuku Peterside who announced the establishment of a Command and Control Center as part of his maritime security initiative, also stressed that the agency would not relax in its pursuit to see the early passage of the Anti-Piracy Bill, the draft of which the Federal Executive Council recently approved for legislative action he said.
Following the above efforts from the authority, it’s possible to record a decrease in piracy attacks in West Africa in 2018. Therefore triggering an increase in the economy and investors.
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