The trend of reduction in piracy and armed robbery in Nigerian waters has continued, with the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) 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 a 77 per cent decrease in incidents between 2021 and 2020, and a 95 per cent reduction from 2018. The IMB also reported a 39 per cent reduction in piracy and armed robbery incidents in the Gulf of Guinea.
The latest figures came on the back of the launch of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project, by President Muhammadu Buhari in June of this year.
“The Gulf of Guinea region recorded 28 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the first nine months of 2021, in comparison to 46 for the same period in 2020,” the IMB Said.
“Crew kidnappings in the region have dropped with only one crew member kidnapped in Q3 2021, compared to 31 crew members taken in five separate incidents during Q3 2020. All Q3 incidents in 2021 were also against vessels at port anchorages whilst the average successful kidnapping location in Q3 2020 was approximately 100 nautical miles from land.”
The IMB added that 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.
Dr Bashir Jamoh, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said the agency had implemented measures to sustain the current momentum of security in the country’s waters, ensuring that the number of piracy incidents within those waters have reached their lowest level since 1994.
The Deep Blue Project is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Federal Ministry of Defence, being implemented by NIMASA, with personnel drawn from the Nigerian Air Force, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police, Department of State Services, and other security agencies.
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