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‘Piracy, others threatening economy, security of Gulf of Guinea’

By Adaku Onyenucheya
29 November 2021   |   3:03 am
States in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) have lost billions of dollars to piracy, robbery and other criminal maritime activities, according to the Ports Facility Security Officers

(FILES) In this file handout photo taken on January 05, 2014 and released by Norwegian Armed Forces, the Danish support vessel L17 “Esbern Snare” is pictured during training with the Norwegian frigate HNoMS “Helge Ingstad” in the Mediterranean Sea in preparation to escort a delayed shipment of Syria’s chemical agents for destruction. – A Danish patrol in the Gulf of Guinea has killed four pirates in an exchange of fire off the coast of Nigeria, the Danish armed forces said on November 25, 2021. “No Danish soldiers were injured, but five pirates were shot. Four of the pirates died. One was injured,” the military said. The incident occurred on November 24, 2021 when the Danish frigate Esbern Snare, which has been patrolling the area since early November, attempted to board the pirate ship. (Photo by LARS MAGNE HOVTUN / Norwegian Armed Forces / AFP)

States in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) have lost billions of dollars to piracy, robbery and other criminal maritime activities, according to the Ports Facility Security Officers Forum of Nigeria (PFSOFN).

Its National Chairman, Ignatius Uche, who made the disclosure at the association’s 2021 Conference, themed
“Shaping the future of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea” in Asaba, regretted that the economic sabotage was fast threatening the economies and security of the member-states.

He added that the security challenges had impacted negatively on ports operations in Nigeria.

Represented by the National Vice Chairman and Chairman of Niger Delta Maritime Security Area, Mrs. Gloria Ayika, the PFSOFN boss said firm action was needed to contain the disturbing development.

Uche stressed that acts akin to negligence and undermining of extant regulations for criminality to thrive must be vigorously fought.

Amid the problems in the region, he observed that ports facility security officers were making deliberate efforts to improve services.

To achieve result, the chairman urged collaboration, hence the gathering to share intelligence geared at mitigating the crisis in the zone.

Regarding performance, Uche said PFSOFN had arrested and handed over some stowaways to the relevant security agencies for prosecution.

On his part, Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, represented by the Assistant Director of International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code Implementation Unit, Gloria Anyasodo, pointed out that GoG had enormous potential with great maritime business opportunities.

He encouraged the ports security officers to put in their best in curbing maritime crimes in the face of the rising attacks on the high seas, adding that the agency had prosecuted over 20 criminals.

Bashir stated that NIMASA had carried out its mandate in line with international best standards, besides introducing several proactive efforts to safeguard Nigeria’s waterways.

Also speaking, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, observed that security challenges were not peculiar to the maritime sector, adding that the entire globe was battling with the phenomena both on land and sea.

The IGP, who was represented by the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Ari Mohammed Ali, said businesses could not thrive in an environment lacking security.

To address the issue successfully, Baba called for synergy among security agencies.

He reiterated that the parley was aimed at achieving safer waterways for the GoG states.

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