Increased cooperation, information sharing reduce piracy in Nigeria-IMB …As global piracy declines by 42% in Q1 2019
Increased cooperation, information sharing reduce piracy in Nigeria-IMB
…As global piracy declines by 42% in Q1 2019
BY OUR CORRESPONDENTS
Vessels calling at seaports in Nigeria may have less to worry, as there has been a drastic reduction in the rate of pirate and armed robbery attacks in the first quarter of 2019, a report shows.
According to the report issued by the International Maritime Bureau’s IMB, a unit of the International Chamber of Commerce ICC, increased cooperation and information sharing between the relevant maritime regulatory and security agencies in the country and IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has enabled regular patrols in high-risk areas, leading to a reduction in the rate of piracy on Nigerian waters.
Meanwhile, the ICC also reports that there fewer incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the tune of 42 per cent, compared to the first three months of 2018.
The report also says that though Nigeria have been incidences of piracy incidents over the past decade, the first quarter of 2019, the country experienced a decrease in reported piracy incidents.
The country reported 14 incidents of piracy for Q1 2019, in comparison to 22 incidents in Q1 2018. These results confirm the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy increased efforts to “actively respond to reported incidents by dispatching patrol boats,” the report notes.
However, the ICC insists that despite these efforts, the Nigerian authorities need to do more in terms of cooperation and information sharing to further curtail risks faced by vessels in the region, especially the port of Lagos where four incidents have been reported in the period under review.
On the global scene, the report indicates that there were 38 incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the first quarter of this year.
This represents 28 fewer incidents or a decrease of 42.4 per cent, compared to the corresponding period last year when 66 incidents were recorded.
IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre detailed that 27 vessels were boarded, seven vessels were fired upon and four attempted attacks occurred in Q1 2019. No vessels were reported as hijacked for the first time since the first quarter of 1994.
“These latest statistics from the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre are encouraging. However, first quarter statistics is too short a period on which to anticipate trends over the year,” Pottengal Mukundan, IMB Director, said.
The Gulf of Guinea represented a high number of piracy and armed robbery attacks at sea, with 22 incidents reported in the first quarter of 2019.
The region also accounted for all of the worldwide crew kidnappings as 21 crew members were kidnapped across five separate incidents. Incidents were reported in the coastal countries of Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria and Togo in the first quarter of 2019.
In Asia, Indonesia witnessed a drop in piracy activities for the first quarter of 2019. There were only three incidents reported against anchored vessels in ports in Indonesia – the fewest reported incidents since 2010, according to the report.
“As with Nigeria, increased cooperation and information sharing between the Indonesian Marine Police and IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has enabled regular patrols in high-risk areas.
“The declining rate of piracy incidents worldwide in the first quarter of 2019 reinforces the importance of transparency, communication and coordination between vessels and coastal authorities, IMB stressed.
“By reporting all incidents to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre and coastal authorities, the response can be better organised improving incident response times and prompt advice to vessels aimed at a more optimal use of resources. National governments and coastal authorities can use this data to collaborate and strengthen their piracy prevention efforts”, IMB further said.
Recall that there are concerted efforts by the Nigerian government, especially NIMASA, the country’s maritime administration to boost institutional and regulatory framework to fight piracy. One of such efforts is the Anti –Piracy Bill, which is currently at the National Assembly. One of such other efforts is also the recent approval by Federal Executive Council FEC, headed by the president to rework the nation’s maritime security architecture, among several others.