Piracy on Nigerian waters falls by 77%, says NIMASA

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The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has said the country has witnessed its lowest level of piracy since 1994, with piracy dropping by 77 per cent.

NIMASA disclosed this in a statement signed by its Assistant Director, Public Relations, Osagie Edward, saying the decline was reported by the International Maritime Bureau.

It said, “The trend of reduction in piracy and armed robbery in Nigerian waters has continued, with the International Maritime Bureau reporting in its third-quarter 2021 account a 77 per cent decrease in the first nine months of the year, compared to the same period last year.

“Nigeria reported four incidents in the first nine months of 2021, in comparison to 17 in 2020 and 41 in 2018. This represents 77 per cent decrease in incidents between 2021 and 2020, and 95 per cent reduction from 2018.”

It said the IMB also reported a 39 per cent reduction in piracy and armed robbery incidents in the Gulf of Guinea.

According to NIMASA, this reduction is coming off the back of the launch of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project.

“The overall reduction of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region is a testament to enhanced maritime security and response coordination measures adopted by regional and national authorities,” it quoted the IMB as saying.

The IMB Director, Michael Howlett, said, “We welcome the decrease of piracy and armed robbery attacks in the Gulf of Guinea and the efforts taken by maritime authorities in the region.

“However, there needs to be sustained efforts to ensure the continued safety of seafarers as they transport essential goods throughout the region. Coastal states must redouble their coordination and security measures to ensure that piracy and armed robbery incidents continue to decline.”

The Director-General of NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh, said the agency was beefing up measures to sustain the current momentum of security in the country’s waters.

He said, “We are delighted by this latest news from the IMB and the trend of progressive reduction in piracy and related incidents in our waters, but we cannot afford to be complacent about our commitment to the security of our maritime domain.

“We will continue to strive for more effective measures to keep Nigerian waters safe and secure.”

SOURCE: PUNCH

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