By Oko Ebuka
Nigeria has once again recorded the highest number of piracy attacks on vessels in the first quarter of 2019 in global statistics with a total number of 14 attacks.
According to the report released by International Maritime Bureau, IMB, on piracy attacks on vessels in the Q1, January – March, 2019, it shows that a grand total of 38 attacks occurred globally with Nigeria leading the chart with 14 attacks, followed by Venezuela with 4 attacks; while Ghana, China and Indonesia recorded 3 attacks each as other countries recorded 1 attack each.
The report further show that there is reduction on piracy attack on Nigerian vessels compared to Q1 2018 which recorded 22 attacks within the same period in 2018.
It also revealed in the report that a total of 14 piracy attack on global vessels occurred in January, while February and March recorded 12 attacks respectively.
In regional incidents, the report showed that Africa recorded the highest number of attacks with 22 incidents, America with 8, South-East Asia with 4, East Asia with 3, and Indian sub-continent with 1 attack.
According to the report also, a total of 6 actual attacks took place on boarded Nigerian vessels with 3 anchored and another 3 steaming, with zero highjack, 1 attempted attack and 7 fired upon with 4 incidents occurring in Lagos Sea alone.
The decline in piracy attacks has been influenced by the efforts of Nigerian Maritime Administrative and Safety Agency, NIMASA, in collaboration with Nigerian Navy, NN, to end piracy operations within the Nigerian waters as federal government procured security gadgets for fight against piracy and other illegal activities on the countries territorial waters.
Recall that DG, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside recently expressed the Agency’s desire to work with other stakeholders and hasten the action on the passage of the Anti-Piracy and Other related Crimes at Sea into law to enable Nigerian vessels have free movement at seas.
He also stated that Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to its leadership role in the war on piracy and maritime crimes will be extended in all the region of Gulf of Guinea, an area wholly considered the global challenging maritime crime base in Africa.