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Nigerian waters are safe for merchant shipping — Shippers’ Council Boss

By Godwin Oritse

The Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive,  Nigerian Shippers ‘Council, NSC,  Hassan Bello, has said that the imposition of surcharges on Nigerian bound cargo due to imaginary security concerns along the Gulf of Guinea region is a misconception of foreign shipping lines.

He lambasted foreign shipping firms for miscategorization and exaggeration of the security situation in the country to justify surcharges they unjustly levied on cargo destined to Nigeria.

Bello said there are security challenges but it is not peculiar to Nigeria alone as many countries of the world are witnessing such security challenges.

He stated: ‘‘Such incidences like pilfering, armed robbery at sea piracy and other infractions are not too frequent in our shores and is of less magnitude but our detractors will always magnify it to portray us in a bad light.’’

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Bello praised the collaboration between the Nigerian Navy, NIMASA and other relevant security agencies which to a large extent has reduced such incidences in Nigerian waterways adding that statistics have shown that Nigerian Navy has foiled about 90 per cent of such incidents in Nigeria’s waterways.

NSC as Ports Economic Regulator, recently called for interagency collaboration to strengthen institutional capabilities that will create a seamless security architecture that will provide robust security in Nigeria’s maritime domain thereby adding value to the stimulating of the national economy.

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