……..Gulf of Guinea Accounts for 4.5mbd in Africa
………From 44 piracy incidents in 2020 to 11 in 2021
Nigeria’s chief of naval staff, Vice Admiral, Awwal Gambo has given the Navy a pat on the back, noting that there has been a marked decline in piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. According to him, only 11 pirates incidence were recorded in 2021 compared to 44 in the year 2020.
According to Gambo, the swift response of the Nigerian Navy to illegal activities at sea had reduced the rate of successful attacks of pirates in Nigeria’s maritime domain; hence the decline was complimented by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) piracy reports, which shows that Nigeria has exited its piracy list.
The Navy boss, who spoke at the 10th SECUREX West Africa 2022 International Exhibition which concluded yesterday in Lagos, revealed that the Gulf of Guinea accounts for about 4.5 million barrels of oil produced daily in Africa.
He revealed further that Nigeria’s maritime environment constituted about 12% of the Gulf of Guinea thus accounting for over 85% of the total seaward trade with the rest of the world.
“The Nigerian Navy initiated the anti-piracy operation: ‘Op Tsare Taku’ and the anti-crude oil theft and illegal crude refining operation: ‘OP DAKATAR DA BARAWO’ to curb insecurity in the nation’s maritime environment.
“This is why the Nigerian Navy, which is the biggest protector of the Nigeria’s maritime environment, focuses on tackling maritime crimes, protecting critical national infrastructure as well as protecting Nigeria’s ports.
“The economy has about 36 trillion barrels and 182 billion cubic feet of oil and gas reserves with the capacity to produce about 2.4 million barrels and 8 billion cubic feet of oil and gas respectively per day.
“Thus, the maritime industry with associated infrastructure occupies prominent position in the matrix of Nigeria’s vital economic interest as it encompasses activities ranging from shipping, fishing, resource exploration among others,” Gambo told the audience.
He explained that before recently, there was frequent abuse of the maritime domain through illicit activities of local and foreign collaborators despite the numerous prospects of the maritime environment.
He noted that insecurity within the maritime domain stems largely from non-military causes such as socio-economic agitations, rising population, illiteracy, unemployment in the coastal communities.
“Obviously, the manifestations include: attacks on shipping, sabotage of hydrocarbon infrastructure and maritime resource, theft including diverse forms of illicit trafficking, illegal unreported and unregulated fishing among others.
“These threats constitute challenges to the socio-economic development and portray harmful dimensions for Nigeria’s coast at making its maritime environment a safe haven for local and foreign investors,” the CNS said.