‘Nigeria Lost $950 Million Last Year To Pirates In Gulf Of Guinea’
By Wisdom Patrick, Lagos
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas, made this disclosure while speaking to journalists at the base in Lagos after announcing activities lined up for the forthcoming Offshore Patrol Vessels Africa Conference scheduled to hold at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos. The FOC said the African continent is increasingly witnessing progressive surge in offshore activities across the broad spectrum of maritime trade and business.
He said, “Despite this, it is regrettable that maritime insecurity and illegal activities in the maritime domain threaten and invariably undermine the great potentials of the African continent.
“The magnitude of these threats is aptly captured by a study of the advocacy group tagged ‘Ocean Beyond Piracy’ which estimated that piracy in the GoG cost the world between 740million dollars and 950million dollars last year and this cost is expected to rise .
“In response to this, the former Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, in repose to the maritime insecurity in the Gulf aptly advocated for an international conference of naval chiefs and stakeholders to provide credible and sustainable solution to the scourge of maritime insecurity in Africa’s maritime domain.”
As a follow up measure, the NN is taking the lead in partnership with the International Quality and Productivity Centre (IQPC) to organise a defence and security conference.
He said the conference which is the first of its kind in Africa, is aimed at addressing the teething insecurity awareness issues as well as proffering ways and means of building infrastructure and capacity towards combating the scourge.
Tagged ‘Delivering maritime security to Africa’, Ibas said the conference would focus on anti-piracy and sea robbery operations, cost-effective OPV and naval systems acquisition, multilateral and innovative protection measures for offshore oil assets.
Others include technology transfer and development of domestic ship building capabilities, international best practices in OPV operations and exhibition of security and defence related equipment for protection of oil and gas assets.
Ibas added, “At the end of the day, the conference seeks to find solutions to operational challenges, proffer service products for industries which could help surmount the problems African Navies are facing.”