Stakeholders in the maritime industry have called for the support of all Nigerians to ensure that the Nigerian Navy (NN) sustains its present fight against piracy and other criminalities in Nigeria’s territorial waters.
This is coming on the heels of increase piracy attacks within territorial waters in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea.
Some of the attacks were said to have become increasingly restricted to territorial waters, terminals and harbours rather than in the high seas to circumvent intervention by international Naval forces.
However, a Lagos based shipping practitioner, Mr. Funsho Daramola stated that although the Gulf of Guinea region’s waters have been one of the most lucrative both for legitimate and unlawful activities, apart from Nigeria, and to a lesser extent Angola, no other Gulf of Guinea country boasts of any significant naval or coast guard capability to constitute an effective deterrent or counter measures against growing maritime crimes.
Daramola who spoke to THISDAY in Lagos stated that the criminality perpetrated in the Gulf of Guinea region was a pointer to the fact that the pirates run a well-funded criminal industry with established supply networks and usually very heavily armed. “Their targets are mostly foreign oil tankers which they hijack, board and divert to unknown destinations to take delivery of their oil contents. In some cases, the crew members are kidnapped and ransom demanded. Nigeria has, over the past decade, had its fair share of piracy attacks ranging from vessel hijack, oil theft and kidnapping, which has resulted in the death of oil workers and ship crew.
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