The director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi, yesterday, said the agency had rid the country’s territorial waters of pirates and sea robbers to a significant extent with the criminals now retreating to neighbouring waters.
Akpobolokemi said this while receiving members of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigerian (MARAN) on a courtesy visit to the NIMASA at the agency’s headquarters in Apapa, Lagos.
The boss of Nigeria’s apex maritime regulatory body said, “Nigeria is winning the fight against piracy in partnership with security agencies, particularly the Navy.
“The campaign against piracy is intensifying more than ever before and NIMASA has deployed more vessels on the waters. We have gone into several partnership initiatives with security agencies in order to get deeper into Nigerian waters.
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Maritime Security News Note: An interesting take on recent events from NIMASA, although given their DG stated in December 2013 that reports of piracy in Nigerian waters were “exaggerated”, it isn’t too surprising. The problem is, of course, that incident reporting in the region is virtually non-existent in terms of official reports. Presumably, the comments here about ‘neighbouring waters’ refer to the hijacking of the MT Kerala off Angola, but it hardly leaves the Nigerian authorities with piracy or robber-free waters, as discussed in my earlier article on the kidnapping of senior crew from merchant ships. We have seen a number of incidents in recent weeks which have not been officially reported and which suggest that maritime crime is still a significant issue in the region.