The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Wednesday said piracy had decreased by 77% on Nigerian waters in the first nine months of 2021.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, said this in a statement by Mr Edward Osagie, Assistant Director, Public Relations, NIMASA.
Jimoh said the reduction was reflected in the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) third-quarter 2021 report.
“Nigeria reported four incidents in the first nine months of 2021, in comparison to 17 in 2020 and 41 in 2018.
“This represents 77 per cent decrease in incidents between 2021 and 2020, and 95 per cent reduction from 2018.
“The IMB also reported 39 per cent reduction in piracy and armed robbery incidents in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG),” said Jimoh.
He added that the latest figures came following the launch of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project, on June 10 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Jamoh said the Agency had put in place measures to sustain the current momentum of security in the country’s waters.
“We are delighted by this latest news from the IMB and the trend of progressive reduction in piracy and related incidents on our waters.
“But we cannot afford to be complacent about our commitment to the security of our maritime domain.
“We will continue to strive for more effective measures to keep Nigerian waters safe and secure,” he said.
Jamoh quoted the IMB as saying, “The Gulf of Guinea region recorded 28 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the first nine months of 2021, in comparison to 46 for the same period in 2020.
“The piracy reporting agency explained that crew kidnappings in the region had dropped with only one crew member kidnapped in Q3, compared to 31 crew members taken in five separate incidents during Q3 2020.
“All Q3 incidents were also against vessels at port anchorages, whilst the average successful kidnapping location in Q3 2020 was approximately 100NM from land.”
He stated that the overall reduction of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region was testament to enhanced maritime security and response coordination measures adopted by regional and national authorities.
“It called for the sustenance of the current momentum, as they welcome the decrease of piracy and armed robbery attacks in the Gulf of Guinea and the efforts taken by maritime authorities in the region,” said IMB Director, Michael Howlett.