FG to Commence $195m Maritime Security Project Q1 2021

Eromosele Abiodun

The federal government has disclosed that barring any unforeseen circumstance, the $195 million Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project, which has suffered many delays will commence in the first quarter of next year.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi announced this during an inspection of some of the Deep Blue Project equipment in Lagos at the weekend.

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Source: thisdaylive.com

Pirates kidnap five Ghanaians in Niger Delta

By Tola Adenubi

Suspected maritime pirates on Monday kidnapped five Ghanaians from the Ghanaian flagged general cargo vessel AM DELTA with IMO number 9015929 at 35 nautical miles off the Agbano Terminals in the Niger Delta area.

In an advisory notice issued on Monday to nearby vessels by both the United Kingdom-based maritime consultancy firm, Dryad Global, and the Italian maritime consultancy firm, Praesidium International; the Ghanaian flagged vessel was boarded by six to seven pirates on the 16th of November 2020 at 44 nautical miles South Brass.

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Source: tribuneonlineng.com

Pirates Abduct 14 Seafarers From Heavy Lift Ship in Gulf of Guinea

On Friday, 14 crewmembers were kidnapped from a Chinese heavy-lift ship off the coast of Sao Tome.

According to security consultancy Dryad Global, the heavy lift ship Zhen Hua 7 was boarded by pirates at a position about 80 nm to the northeast of Sao Tome, in the Gulf of Guinea. The ship was drifting at the time of the boarding. 14 out of her 27 crewmembers were kidnapped, and all of the victims are Chinese nationals, according to Dryad.

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Source: maritime-executive.com

MDAT-GoG reports new attack on tanker

MDAT-GoG reported on November 11th that a tanker was under attack by armed pirates in one skiff, in position 0512N 00235E (70 Nm southeast of Cotonou) at 0119UTC.

The initial report came from the vessel itself, which followed up to state that the attack had been aborted. It is not known at this time whether the vessel was protected by armed guards or was able to evade the pirates.

This is the latest in a series of attacks, primarily against tankers, in the last week, several of which have occurred at least 70nm from shore, highlighting the risk to vessels transiting the GoG.

Two tankers avert pirate attacks off West Africa

Two tankers transiting West Africa have successfully averted attacks by pirates on their crew, even though one of the tankers was boarded. Lee Hong Liang writes in Seatrade Maritime News:

“According to reports cited by maritime security intelligence firm Dryad Global, pirates boarded a Singapore-flagged chemical tanker Torm Alexandra in south Cotonou, Benin around 0643 UTC.”

Further, Maritime Executive carried images taken by a helicopter deployed by the Italian frigate, INS Martinengo, which show at least four men in a skiff containing fuel barrels and powered by twin outboard engines.

An incident alert was sent by MDAT-GoG on Saturday, which read:

1. CATEGORY: BOARDING

2. TIME: 07 Nov 2020 at 0640UTC.

3. DESCRIPTION: Unknown number of perpetrators have boarded a MV. All crew are in the citadel. Local authorities are aware of the situation.

4. POSITION: 03°39’48N 002°29’49E (172 Nm south of Cotonou)

This was later updated to show the vessel and crew as safe.

MDAT-GoG issues attack alert

Today, Nov. 4th, MDAT-GoG issued an attack alert following reports of an incident around 100nm off Brass, Niger Delta.

MDAT-GoG stated that it received a SSAS alert signal from a tanker which may be under attack. The incident occurred at 0549 UTC in position 02°43”56N- 006°03”23 E (190°- 100nm of Brass). They describe the vessel as drifting and not responding to calls from its CSO or MDAT. There have been no further updates.

Maritime Security: Controversy Trails Amaechi’s Quest for Another $22.9M Despite Uncompleted $195M Contract to Israeli Firm

Eromosele Abiodun

In a move that has raised eyebrows in government circles, and among stakeholders, Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi is seeking a whopping $22.99 million from the federal government to hire fast intervention vessels to tackle insecurity in Nigerian waters, THISDAY has learnt. This comes hard on the heels of the $195 million maritime security contract approved for the same purpose by the federal government in 2017, which was also pushed through by Amaechi.

A source familiar with the matter said, “That contract is yet to be fully executed.”
The federal government had in 2017 approved a $195 million maritime security contract with an Israeli firm, HLS International Limited, under the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project. The company allegedly got the contract on the strength of its relationship with Amaechi, even though stakeholders alleged lack of transparency.

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Source: thisdaylive.com

Maritime security: EU to the rescue of ECOWAS civil and maritime professionals

By Moctar FICOU

The European Union (EU) has awarded a grant of 1.5 million euros, or one (1) billion CFA francs, to the Institute for Interregional Maritime Safety (ISMI), the Regional Academy of Marine Science and Technology (ARSTM), to finance 16 training cycles between 2021 and 2024.

This initiative aims to strengthen the maritime security skills of civil and maritime professionals in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The training, which will begin in January 2021, will put an end to illegal activities in the Gulf of Guinea.

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Source: vivafrik.com

MarsecNews: This item was translated into English by Bing. As a result, some errors may occur.

Navy destroys illegal refineries in South-south

Musa Umar Bologi

Personnel of the Nigerian Navy (NN) destroyed scores of illegal refineries Tangolo Susu, Oputumbi and Promise Land, Edeoha Community, and Oghara in Bonny and Edeoha Local Government Areas of Rivers state and Ethiope West of Delta state.

Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche disclosed this during a press briefing at the Defence Headquarters Abuja on the activities of the military across the country. He said the troops also arrested one suspected gunrunner with one AK 47 rifle and 2 magazines loaded with 7.62mm special ammunition around Road Elele-Owerri in Rivers State.

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Source: blueprint.ng

Vessel thought attacked turns up safe and sound in GoG

Dryad Global has confirmed that the Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) activated on the Panamanian flagged M/T Errina ‘appears to have been in error’ and the vessel has subsequently been shown to be at a location South of Lagos.

Indications were that the vessel position was 200nm West Sao Tome. According to Dryad Global, this position would have been irregular to her known trading pattern.

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Source: bunkerspot.com

MarsecNews: This article updates a story we ran on Oct. 23rd which can be found here. Happy to see the situation resolved.