OPINION: West Africa oil and gas players faces new terror threat

With incidents on the rise, oil-producing coastal states must work to minimise the risk to the upstream industry

By Barry Morgan

OPINION: Al Qaeda and Islamic State affiliates have reached an agreement and are now working together to secure the ungoverned spaces of the African Sahel, competing for — but not fighting over — recruits.

The threat of Islamist attack is endemic in northern and eastern Burkina Faso, previously a peaceful backwater but now seen as the next front in the global war on Islamist violence.

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Source: upstreamonline.com

Nigeria unveils two vessels to tackle piracy

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has unveiled two Special Mission Vessels, DB Lagos and DB Abuja, to eliminate embarrassment caused by piracy on Nigeria’s waterways.The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said in Lagos on Tuesday that the arrival of the vessels demonstrated the determination of the Federal Government to restore Nigeria to tackle piracy.

Local media reports on Wednesday quoted Peterside as saying that the events have brought Nigeria to near crescendo in ensuring the elimination of criminality on its waterways and to bring about absolute tranquility in the nation’s water corridors.

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Source: journalducameroun.com

PIRATE ATTACKS: World shipping groups threaten to report Nigeria to UN

By Godwin Oritse

TWO International shipping groups, Baltic and International Maritime Council, BIMCO, and International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, Inter-Tanko, have threatened to report Nigeria to the United Nations, UN, and the United States of America, USA, if cogent actions are not taken to stem the recent spike in pirate attacks against their vessels and personnel.

The follow-up measure from the groups, Vanguard Maritime Report gathered, would be a deployment of international war ships to Nigerian territorial waters to secure their vessels and personnel if the situation remains the same three months afterwards.

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Source: vanguardngr.com

How Navy Arrested 33 Suspected Oil Thieves, Three Vessels in Delta

By Sylvester Idowu in Warri

Vigilant operatives of the Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS Delta), Warri, within three weeks, have arrested 33 suspected oil thieves in different operations around Escravos offshore in Warri South-west Local Government area of Delta Sate.

The operations, which was carried out between January 15 and February 12 this year, also led to the arrest of three sea going vessels namely MT Nely, MT Madam Esther and MT De-Praise as well as a wooden boat and a barge.

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Source: thisdaylive.com

Shots fired at boxship off Nigeria

Sam Chambers

Shots were fired at a boxship departing West Africa on Friday in the latest violent attack to hit merchant shipping in the piracy prone area.

Security consultants Ambrey report that within 26 hours of the kidnapping of nine crewmembers from the panamax tanker Alpine Penelope, the panamax container ship Irenes Resolve came under attack 119 nautical miles offshore Nigeria.

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Source: splash247.com

Nigeria: FG moves to enforce Anti-Piracy Law as stiff penalty awaits offenders

The Federal Government has embarked on measures to ensure a smooth enforcement of the newly enacted anti piracy law as part of efforts to stem criminality on Nigerian waters. This was revealed in Lagos at the annual Strategic Admiralty Law Seminar for Judges put together by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). The theme of the conference was, “Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, 2019: Key to Accelerating and Achieving Safe and Secure Shipping in Nigeria.” it was meant to sensitise judicial sector actors on the import of the antipiracy law.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Directors-General of NIMASA and NIALS, Dr. Dakuku Peterside and Professor Mohammed Tawfiq Ladan, respectively, emphasised the need for unencumbered implementation of the law. They called for cooperation among the enforcement agencies, stressing that stringent penalties await maritime criminals in the country.

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Source: worldstagegroup.com

Pirates attack tanker off Benin, kidnap crew

On Feb. 20th, MDAT-GoG, the agency monitoring maritime crime in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, reported an attack on a vessel in position 05°08’31’’N – 002°06’14.4’’E.

Although the agency has not updated their report since then, media outlets and independent sources now say that at least nine crew (possibly 10, there is some confusion about the actual number) were taken hostage after at least two armed pirates boarded the ship, named as the MT Alpine Penelope.

The incident reportedly occurred some 76nm off Cotonou and the location suggests that pirate groups in the region are moving away from areas where naval patrols have been stepped up in recent weeks, such as off the Niger Delta.

Yesterday’s attack is another example of the changing economies of piracy. Until 2018, pirate groups in the region took advantage of the oil market by hijacking tankers and stealing crude for re-sale either domestically or elsewhere in the Gulf of Guinea. However, as oil prices fell, criminal gangs in West Africa reaslised that stolen crude and related products no longer offered a good return on investment and turned to kidnap instead. Media reports suggest a number of the kidnapped crew are Georgian nationals.