Shippers’ War Risk Insurance soars as pirates intensify attacks

By Uche Usim

DESPITE repeated assurances from the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Mari­time Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) of adequate safety at sea, pirates have continued to launch spo­radic attacks on ships that sail into the country, thus turning the Nigerian wa­ters into a nightmare of some sorts. The development, experts insist, is already taking a frightening toll on the Nige­rian economy as foreign seafarers now dread coming into the nation’s waters.

Few weeks ago, Filipino seafarers re­portedly demanded from their employ­ers that their salaries and other emolu­ments be doubled before they can sail to Nigeria.

Only last week, two pirates’ attacks were reported in Nigeria within five days. The first was the attack on a Mal­ta-flagged tanker, MT Puli, where the vessel’s crew members were kidnapped by an eight-man gang. The second was a container ship owned by the French shipping major, CMA CGM, that was attacked by pirates off Nigeria and in the process, two crew members were also kidnapped.

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