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Business

Gulf of Guinea piracy hits record level in 2020 – IMB

Gulf of Guinea recorded an increase in piracy attacks in 2020, according to the Annual Piracy report of the IMB.

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West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea recorded an unprecedented increase in piracy attacks in 2020, according to the International Maritime Bureau in its 2020 Annual Piracy report published on Wednesday.

The IMB said its Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) received 195 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships worldwide, in comparison to 162 in 2019. The incidents included three hijacked vessels, 11 vessels fired upon, 20 attempted attacks, and 161 vessels boarded.

READ: Medview increases fleet to compete with Air Peace but there’s a problem

The IMB reported that 135 crew members were kidnapped from their vessels in 2020, with the Gulf of Guinea accounting for over 95% kidnapped. A record of 130 crew members were kidnapped in 22 separate incidents.

  • “The rise is attributed to an increase of piracy and armed robbery reported within the Gulf of Guinea, as well as increased armed robbery activity in the Singapore Straits.”

READ: FG to launch policy to prevent smuggling of mineral resources

According to the report…

  • Since 2019, the Gulf of Guinea has experienced an unprecedented rise in the number of multiple crew kidnappings. In the last quarter of 2019 alone, the Gulf of Guinea recorded 39 crew kidnapped in two separate incidents.
  • Incidents in the Gulf of Guinea are particularly dangerous as over 80% of attackers were armed with guns, according to the latest IMB figures. All three vessel hijackings and nine of the 11 vessels fired upon in 2020 related to this region. Crew kidnappings were reported in 25% of vessel attacks in the Gulf of Guinea – more than any other region in the world.
  • The furthest crew kidnapping in 2020 occurred almost 200 nautical miles (NM) from land with the average kidnapping incident taking place over 60NM from land.

READ: Nigeria is now the piracy capital of the world

READ: How MultiChoice is getting the economy working with BBNaija

The IMB said the piracy attacks demonstrates the increasing capabilities of pirates in the Gulf of Guinea and urged that vessels in the region to remain at least 250NM from the coast at all times, or until the vessel can transit to commence cargo operations at a berth or safe anchorage.

READ: Ministry of Health approves COVID-19 protocols for aviation sector, as airports prepare to resume

The IMB also urged increased information exchange and coordination between vessels, reporting and response agencies in the Gulf of Guinea Region.

  • “Despite prompt action by navies in the region, there remains an urgent need to address this crime, which continues to have a direct impact on the safety and security of innocent seafarers,” said Michael Howlett, Director of the ICC International Maritime Bureau.

READ: Oil prices rally higher, as U.S oil producers suspend operations in Gulf of Mexico

What you should know

  • Nairametrics reported in 2019 that Nigeria outstripped Indonesia to become the worst country in the world for piracy. The rampant kidnapping activities in the Gulf of Guinea have increased tremendously in recent years, with Nigeria accounting for 48 out of the 70 recorded in 2019 – implying that Nigeria is responsible for almost one out of every four cases recorded globally.
  • In October 2020, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported a rise in piracy and armed robbery on the world’s seas in the first nine months of 2020, with a 40% increase in the number of kidnappings reported in the Gulf of Guinea. Pirates armed with guns and knives are abducting bigger groups of seafarers at further distances off the West African coast.
  • The United States of America handed over maritime equipment to the Nigerian Navy to secure maritime threats in the Gulf of Guinea and also promote bilateral relations between both nations.
  • Confidence MacHarry, Analyst at SBM Intelligence told Nairametrics that for Nigeria to tackle its Fish production, Nigeria needs to work on a joint coalition to deal with the piracy problem in the Gulf of Guinea. He said: “To tackle the menace of piracy, the Deep Blue Project must be effectively launched. Not just rhetoric, launch it and let it be operational. Also, like the MNJTF, there should be an international coalition of the Gulf countries to tackle piracy collectively.”

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Business

 Onitsha River Port set to receive 1000 containers from Lagos next week

The National Inland Water Ways Authority says1000 containers from Lagos will arrive Onitsha river port.

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 Onitsha River Port Set To Receive 1000 Containers from Lagos Next Week

The National Inland Water Ways Authority has made public its intention to move 1000 containers from Lagos to Onitsha river port.

The statement was made on Thursday by Jibril Dardau the NIWA general manager of Corporate Affairs.

Mr. Jibril Dardau was speaking of the backdrop of an earlier statement made by the executive director of NIWA Mr. George Moughalu. Mr. George Moughalu said the agency is targeting about 1,000 containers to be hauled per trip from Lagos ports to Onitsha River Port within the maximum duration of 4 days.

Moghalu added that NIWA is engaging the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and other stakeholders to facilitate the commencement of the cargo haulage.

NIWA in an official statement articulated the practical modalities involved in the new initiative. It also mentioned the third party companies it would work it during the operation.

“The idea of hauling containers via Burutu Ports to Onitsha River Port is to deliberately avoid the two small bridges of Gbarekolo and Bumandi,

“Because the two bridges are too tiny and shallow for sea moving badges or vessels to ply through, that is why the company (ACTL) is considering the route from Lagos ports to Burutu Port then to Onitsha River Port as the final destination,” the statement added.

What to know

  • The Recent initiative by the National Inland Waterways Authority is aimed at reducing the gridlock at the Sea Ports in Lagos.
  • The Nigerian Government has been accused of intentionally marginalizing the Southeast region by neglecting their Maritime sector.

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Business

Sanwo-Olu commissions 1.4km Pen Cinema, Agege flyover

Governor Sanwo-Olu has commissioned the 1.4km Dual Carriageway Flyover Bridge in Pen Cinema Junction, Agege.

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday officially commissioned the 1.4km Dual Carriageway Flyover Bridge in Pen Cinema Junction, Agege.

This is part of the effort by the state government to reduce the gridlock and improve the traffic situation on that axis.

During the commissioning of the project, Sanwo-Olu said that the flyover would reduce travel time and save man-hour that would have been otherwise lost to traffic on the road.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Governor said it would provide a better riding surface, leading to reduced maintenance cost; boost interconnectivity and generally make life more meaningful to commuters in the state.

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu said, ”One of the most critical challenges being experienced on a daily basis by residents/road users along the Agege Pen Cinema area over the years is the heavy traffic volume occasioned by the geometric increase in traffic.

Residents and road users along this area have clamoured for a solution to the suffocating nature of the perennial traffic gridlock occasioned by the huge human and vehicular traffic, flowing through this intersection.

”To address the challenge of this huge traffic burden, our administration decided to continue with the construction of a Precast and Pre-stressed Reinforced Concrete Dual-carriage Flyover and Ramp, with road works, across the Agege Pen Cinema Intersection which was then at about 20 per cent completion.

”This is in line with the first pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda which targets the provision of roads as a critical infrastructure that will support economic activities.

“It will also enable commercial interactions and ensure ease of commuting from one part of the state to another through the elimination of traffic gridlocks,” he said.

While speaking at the occasion, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, said that the project in its entirety consisted of a dual carriageway 1.4km Flyover Bridge component with two lanes of 3.65m width each in either direction with ramps, including the rehabilitation of five adjoining roads.

She said that the construction of a flyover across the Pen-Cinema intersection in addition to the spur linking old Abeokuta road which was conceived in September 2017, was seen as the solution to the transport/traffic problem on that axis.

What you should know

  • The Agege Pen-Cinema Flyover project was started by the immediate past administration of the former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in December 2017.
  • The project is expected to crisscross Oba Ogunji Road and Pen Cinema area and over the railroad, terminating at the Agunbiade Street or Oke-Koto area of the Agege community. The bridge also extends to the old Abeokuta highway into Abule Egba.
  • The flyover which was conceived to solve the perennial traffic on that axis has a total length of approximately 1.4 Kilometres and it is designed to have streetlight facilities and pedestrian walkways.

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