The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has reported that Nigeria made progress in combating piracy in 2021, as the Gulf of Guinea witnessed a decrease from 81 reported incidents in 2020 to 34 in 2021, while crew kidnappings dropped by 62% from 150 in 2020 to 57 in 2021.
This was disclosed in a statement on Sunday, by the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, citing the 2021 Piracy report of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
He added that Nigeria is committing to reducing piracy in its waters and becoming a major maritime hub.
What NIMASA boss said about declining piracy
The NIMASA boss highlighted the IMB data showing a 58.02 per cent drop in reported incidents, praising efforts made by all stakeholders in seeing Nigeria’s drop in numbers.
“This is not by accident, but a product of conscious collaborative efforts by the Agency, the Nigerian Navy and other stakeholders in the region
“The IMB report also showed a 62 per cent decrease in the number of crew kidnapping incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, from 150 in 2020 to 57 in 2021,” he said.
He added that NIMASA is committed to continued collaboration with stakeholders, to ensure that Nigeria attained the status of not only the hub of maritime activities in the West and Central Africa region but also a major maritime player globally.
NIMASA said the reason for the reduced piracy was due to “Improved strategic collaboration with the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Airforce, the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Army and the office of the National Security Adviser, a move, which helped to reduce piracy attacks off the coast of the Gulf of Guinea,”
On levies paid by the agency to the FG through stakeholders, he said “The NIMASA Act 2007, which is our guiding principle, only states that our charges must be a component of the gross freight and must be paid by shipowners not in terms of product to marketers or any other entity.”
He added that all payments were made into the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government, citing improved contributions to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federal Government, from N31 billion in 2020 to about N37 billion in year 2021.
On the recent explosion of the Trinity Spirit Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO), he stated that NIMASA team is working with other relevant organs of government to establish the immediate and remote causes of the fire explosion.
“Issue of environmental pollution was highlighted in the preliminary report and the Agency will work with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), through the use of the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) funds for compensation on all the losses, within and around the facility.
“The public would be informed of every detail concerning the incident as the situation unfolds,” he said.
What you should know
The International Maritime Bureau in its annual piracy report for 2021 stated that the overall reduction in reported incidents in 2021 is attributed to a decline of activity reported within the Gulf of Guinea region which has seen a decrease from 81 reported incidents in 2020 to 34 in 2021.
They urged the coastal states of the Gulf of Guinea to increase their collaboration and physical presence in their waters to ensure a long term and sustainable solution to address the crime of piracy and armed robbery in the region.
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