International Maritime Bureau, a body that monitors incidence of piracy in international waters has said that Nigeria only reported four incidents of piracy in the first nine months of 2021, in comparison to 17, about 88 per cent drop in relation to the figure in 2020 and 41 in 2018 about 217 per cent reduction in incidents of piracy. IMO third quarter 2021 report said “Crew kidnappings in the region have dropped with only one crew member kidnapped in third quarter 2021, compared to 31 crew members taken in five separate incidents during the same period of 2020.
“All Q3 incidents in The Gulf of Guinea region recorded 28 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the first nine months of 2021, in comparison to 46 or 40 per cent drop for the same period in 2020. Most notably, 2021 were also against vessels at port anchorages whilst the average successful kidnapping location in Q3 2020 was approximately 100NM from land”. The overall reduction of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region is a testament to enhanced maritime security and response coordination measures adopted by regional and national authorities, according to IMB.
The success story of reduction in piracy in Nigeria waters has been as a result of better coordination and collaboration among the various agencies of government in the maritime sector. Since assumption of office as the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh has ensure that all agencies of government come together to fight the menace of piracy and armed robbery at sea.
Bashir has in his short stay in office ensure that the Navy, Army, Airforce and other paramilitary institution collaborate in information sharing and personnel cooperation. He has also sought the cooperation of sister agencies such as NPA, Shippers’ Council, Customs and others. Despite these gains, IMB warns that the risk to crew remains high in the region and that such efforts must therefore be sustained.