Gulf of Guinea: Report urges FG to enlist private security companies to fight piracy
A report by maritime research agency, Dryad Global has urged the Federal Government to enlist the services of private security contractors in the fight against piracy which has seen the Gulf of Guinea as the most unsafe shipping route in the world.
The report was composed by Dryad Global and disclosed in a report by Bloomberg on Wednesday Morning. It added that the FG should adopt a space for 3rd-Party security providers in the fight against piracy.
“Seafarers’ lives are at risk from ever-increasing violent attacks and Nigerian pirates are operating with increased impunity.
“Nigeria must strike a balance between restrictions for the sake of national security and creating space for third-party security providers to complement the Nigerian navy’s security activities in support of commercial operations,” the report stated.
Nigeria’s waters are in the center of the Gulf of Guinea, a vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean stretching from Senegal to Angola that is the source of ever-greater anxiety for shipowners, operators and their crews.
According to Bloomberg, last year, the region accounted for 95% of the 135 seafarers seized worldwide in 22 separate incidents, according to the International Maritime Bureau.
The report criticized FG’s effort in criminalizing and punishing piracy actors stating the “government appears more focused on holding the commercial balance of power over third-party security providers than combating piracy,”
What you should know
- West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea recorded an unprecedented increase in piracy attacks in 2020, according to the International Maritime Bureau in its 2020 Annual Piracy report published on Wednesday.
- The IMB reported that 135 crew members were kidnapped from their vessels in 2020, with the Gulf of Guinea accounting for over 95% kidnapped. A record of 130 crew members were kidnapped in 22 separate incidents.
- Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, has also called for military intervention in the piracy problem in the Gulf of Guinea.