The Nigerian Navy (NN) on Thursday said drones and helicopters have been deployed for surveillance of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines from Atlas Cove, Apapa to Ejigbo and Mosimi depots in Lagos and Ogun states.
This deployment, the service said, was to beat pipeline vandals who loot petroleum products from ruptured pipes and then find ways to smuggle them out of the country.
Multi agency cooperation remains the only way to address maritime crimes as it sends a strong and unified message to pirates and other organized criminals to cease their illegal trade.
Speaking during a Regional meeting on “Capacity Building Coordination for Enhanced Maritime Security in the West Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden and Donor Forum”at a Mombasa hotel, defense Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo said progress has been made to enhance Maritime domain awareness through multi agency collaboration.
“I have observed directly the benefits that have accrued from the Maritime code of conduct appended in Djibouti by member states geared towards near eradication of piracy,” said Omamo.
INCIDENTS OF PIRACY AND ARMED ROBBERY AGAINST SHIPS IN ASIA IN OCTOBER 2019
A total of seven incidents of armed robbery against ships1 were reported in Asia in October 2019. No piracy2 incident was reported. There were also no reports of abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah; and no hijacking of ships for theft of oil cargo reported in October 2019. However, the abduction of crew for ransom in the Sulu-Celebes Seas and waters off Eastern Sabah remains a serious concern. The ReCAAP ISC is also concerned about the increase in the number of incidents reported on board ships while underway in the Singapore Strait.
The Senate on Wednesday called on Nigeria’s maritime agency to quickly fast-track the implementation of the Deep Blue Sea Project for the protection of Nigeria’s waterways to combat the menace of pirates and armed bandits.
This resolution was a sequel to a motion titled “urgent need to address the menace of piracy and banditry in the Gulf of Guinea and Nigeria’s internal waters.”
The Senate also urged the federal government to deploy more naval personnel on the Oron coastal area to check the activities of pirates and bandits.
The Nigerian Navy, early on Wednesday morning, rescued four officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), who were abducted on the Bonny River in the evening of Monday by suspected armed sea pirates.
Disclosing this to newsmen on Wednesday, the Commanding Officer of the Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Navy, Navy Capt. Kola Oguntuga explained that the officers were rescued during a surprise operation by the maritime component of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe; and the FOB of the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Pathfinder.
Four senior officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) were on Tuesday morning kidnapped on Bonny waterway in Rivers State.
An indigene of coastal Bonny, the headquarters of Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers, who spoke in confidence through the telephone, disclosed that the immigration personnel left Bonny for Port Harcourt, the state capital for documentation and other official matters at NIS’ headquarters, when the sea pirates attacked them on the high sea, thereby whisking them away in a Commando-like style.
Following back-to-back attacks on two vessels in the Gulf of Guinea last week, the International Transport Worker’ Federation has called for urgent global and regional cooperation to fight piracy off West Africa.
On November 2, pirates kidnapped nine crewmembers from the Norwegian-flagged MV Bonita while the vessel was at anchor off the coast of Benin. Two days later, four crewmembers were taken hostage off the coast of neighboring Togo from the Greek-flagged Elka Aristotle. Several other abductions have been reported in the Gulf of Guinea in recent months, including eight crewmembers taken hostage off Cameroon in August and 10 seafarers off the coast of Nigeria in July.