Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea have signed an agreement to establish combined patrols to strengthen security in the Gulf of Guinea, which has been plagued by piracy in the last few years. This was revealed in a statement by Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu.
There has been a resurgence in militancy attacks on oil pipelines in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, which has put the country at risk and threatened the country’s oil output. The agreement was signed late on Tuesday by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Pirate attacks in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, a significant source of oil, cocoa and metals for world markets, pose a threat to shipping companies. Pirates target oil tankers, usually wanting hostages for ransom and to sell stolen fuel.
“The conclusion and signing of the agreement is expected to enhance security in the Gulf of Guinea and help in curbing maritime crimes such as piracy, crude oil theft, sabotage of oil rigs and arms smuggling,” said Shehu.
In a statement, Shehu said the agreement — signed at the end of Buhari’s two-day visit to Equatorial Guinea’s capital, Malabo — established “a combined Maritime Policing and Security Patrol Committee”.
The creeks and waterways of the Niger Delta region are connected to the Gulf of Guinea.
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed had earlier this week said that the Federal Government will deal ruthlessly with those vandalizing oil pipelines and sabotaging the efforts of the government.
Read more in Reuters