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Sea robbery has reduced  — Labour union

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There are indications that the ‘safe territories’ on the Lagos waters known as the Secure Anchorage Area, SAA, may have come under attacks by sea robbers. The attackers were said to have bridged the facility in search of petroleum products.

Rear Admiral James Oluwole (centre) with Officers of the Eastern Naval Command during the flag off  of Operation Sharkbite onboard NNS Okpabana at Onne seaport

The facility was created by the Federal government following increasing insecurity on the Lagos waters.

A source in the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, told Vanguard Maritime Report  that there have been several attacks on the facility in an attempt to steal petroleum products in the last few months, but noted that the attackers have not recorded any success.

The source said unless an urgent measure is taken to stem the tide, the criminals may succeed, a development which will booster more attacks taking a big and more dangerous dimension.

Vanguard Maritime Reports  had exclusively reported the establishment of the Lagos Secured Anchorage and the amount being charged by the managers of the facility, Ocean Marine Services, OMS.

Assistant General Manager, in charge of Business Development at OMS, Comdr. Chuma Adogu (retd) told  Vanguard Maritime Report  that it is not true that there have been several attacks.

ALSO READ: Cargo scanners slow Customs Airport operations

However, he admitted there was just one attempted attack and that an alarm was raised which led to the sea robbers fleeing on their speed boat.

Meanwhile, despite the seeming increase in the number of sea robbery attack at the beginning of this year, President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Adewale Adeyunju, has said that the incident is on the decrease.

Speaking with Vanguard Maritime Report  at the Dinner/Award night held by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, in Lagos over the weekend, Adeyunju said that these incidents are reducing compared to last year.

He noted that there were several attacks on vessels and even terminals leading to the death of some seafarers and damages to some vessels.

In his words, “It has even reduced because I could remember last year we lost so many seafarers, and we lost so many vessels as a result of piracy trouble on our waters. So but now, I think what we need to do is to pray that this year is going to be better than last year.”

He pointed out that NIMASA, being the regulatory agency are doing their best but called of the federal government to strengthen and empower them to do more.

On the issue of safety gadgets for dockworkers he said, “When you talk of safety kit for dock workers, I think it has improved too because the new   Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA we just signed for dock workers, safety kit for dockworkers and all other security issues are part of the CBA we just signed.”

He stressed the need for the road to the port, Tin Can Island port especially, should be repaired.

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