Nigerian waters saw the lowest level of piracy and armed robbery since 2004 after the launch of the national security and waterways protection infrastructure. The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said in its third quarter report that such activities declined by 77 per cent, as against the same period last year.
Nigeria reported four incidents in the first nine months of 2021, in comparison to 17 in 2020 and 41 in 2018. This represents 77 per cent decrease in incidents between 2021 and 2020, and 95 per cent reduction from 2018.
IMB also reported 39 per cent reduction in piracy and armed robbery incidents in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
The latest figures came on the back of the launch of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project, on June 10 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
IMB said, “The Gulf of Guinea region recorded 28 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the first nine months of 2021, in comparison to 46 for the same period in 2020.”
The piracy reporting agency explained, “Crew kidnappings in the region have dropped with only one crew member kidnapped in Q3 2021, compared to 31 crew members taken in five separate incidents during Q3 2020. All Q3 incidents in 2021 were also against vessels at port anchorages whilst the average successful kidnapping location in Q3 2020 was approximately 100NM from land.”
According to IMB, “The overall reduction of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region is a testament to enhanced maritime security and response coordination measures adopted by regional and national authorities.”
It called for the sustenance of the current momentum.
“We welcome the decrease of piracy and armed robbery attacks in the Gulf of Guinea and the efforts taken by maritime authorities in the region,” said IMB Director, Michael Howlett.