By Godfrey Bivbere
MARITIME operators have called upon all Federal Government’s agencies responsible for securing the nation’s waterways to step up efforts to ensure the security for shipping activities in the particular country.
The operators noted that typically the rate of sea piracy in 2019 was worrisome and unless drastic measures are taken, the situation may become worse.
Speaking with Vanguard Maritime Report on this issue in Lagos, Chairman associated with the Port Consultative Forum, PCF, Kunle Folanrin, said that piracy assaults and armed robbery at sea increased drastically along the nation’s waters and neighbouring waters in 2019 which is not good with regard to shipping business in the country.
Folarin said: “There is one that is hanging that is worrisome, that will is often the issue regarding piracy attack and equipped robbery in sea; particularly in the Gulf of Guinea, and in the Bight of Benin which is Nigeria’s closest maritime domain and I think this issue should receive attention this year.
“I think your Nigerian Ocean going Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, should do more in the exact surveillance involving the coastal area and the Nigerian Navy also ought to step up their game to ensure of which Nigeria’s territorial waters will be protected plus also in order to ensure that we have safe transport terrain, that the very sea link to Nigeria harbours are safe; otherwise, a international shipping the cartel will certainly impose sub-charge on Nigerian bound cargo and that is not good regarding everybody including you and me.
“The cost of goods and services will increase because the delivery companies will not just pay the charges, they will pass it about to the valuables owner in addition to the freight owner will pass it on the consumer, ” he said.
Also speaking on the issue, Aminu Umar, immediate past President of Nigeria Shipowners Association, also said, “It is actually true, the problem is that when it comes to safety, we look from two things; one is the security, the security of the water in terms of channel, navigational challenges, we have a lot connected with challenges within the navigation.
“Insecurity to be honest, 2019 has been very bad in terms of security situation open to attack inside Nigerian oceans; kidnap and even hijacking possess recorded one of the highest ever.
“It is usually unfortunate that it happened throughout 2019, what happened in the main last a quarter of 2019 has actually never happened in finally, the history of that hijacking with ships around the entire shipping world.
“It is very unfortunate that it is happening on Nigeria but we look forward to see in 2020, the Nigerian law enforcement companies to make sure that this kind for thing will certainly never happen again, ” he concluded