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NIMASA, IMB Disagree Over Reason For Drop In Sea Piracy At GOG

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Following the drop in the volume of pirate attacks at the Gulf of Guinea (GOG), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) have expressed disagreement over which institution is responsible for the reduction.

While the IMB attributed the reduction of piracy and other maritime crimes in the area to the presence of foreign Navies in the region, Director General of NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh, said the controversial USD195 million deep blue project initiated by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, but paid for by NIMASA, is responsible for the decline in piracy at Gulf of Guinea.
In a statement made available to newsmen, IMB said some foreign countries and the European Union have deployed Naval missions to stem incessant attacks against merchant ships in the GOG..
The Bureau said some of the missions include the United States Africa Command International Maritime Exercise in the Gulf of Guinea, the deployment of a warship by Denmark and the creation of the Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP) in the Gulf of Guinea by the European Union.
IMB said the increase in presence of international Naval patrol has led to a reduction in piracy attacks in the area.
While commending what he called the robust actions of the international Navies and regional authorities in the Gulf of Guinea, Director of IMB, Michael Howlett, said the effort “appears to have positively contributed to the drop in reported incidents and ensuring continued safety to crews and trade”.
Howlett noted that despite the reduction, the Gulf of Guinea continued to account for all kidnapping incidents globally, with 57 crew taken in seven separate incidents in 2021.
He said IMB remains committed to actively engaging and exchanging information with coastal states to promote safety for seafarers and trade.

Where did the pirates go from West Africa?
“While the IMB applauds these actions, it further calls on the coastal states of the Gulf of Guinea to increase their collaboration and physical presence in their waters to ensure a long term and sustainable solution to address the crime of piracy and armed robbery in the region”, Howlett said.
He noted that the European Union has announced funding for a USD1.72million training programme to improve the safety of vessels in the Gulf of Guinea.
The United States Africa Command conducts an annual exercise named ‘Obangame Express’ to counter malign influence, aggression activity, and base establishment in Gulf of Guinea Economic Exclusion Zones and West African coastal regions.
The EU Coordinated Maritime Presence, which was launched in 2021, mandates countries like France, Italy, Portugal and Spain to take turns to deploy warships in the region.
The statement noted that in November 2021, Danish Naval patrol killed four pirates in an exchange of fire in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Nigeria,
According to a statement by Denmarks armed forces, the incident occurred on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 when the frigate Esbern Snare, attempted to board the pirate boat. After the shooting, the pirate ship sank and the eight pirates were arrested.

Source: The Tide News Online