Dryad Global cautions “not yet Uhuru” despite decline in piracy in Gulf of Guinea
While Dryad welcomed the significant decline in 2021 of incidents in the region, often involving the violent armed boarding of vessels and the kidnap and ransom of crews, it questioned whether the risk to ships and crews has been reduced.
In 2021, overall incidents of piracy and maritime crime throughout West Africa declined by 54% compared to 2020, Dryad noted in a recent analysis of maritime security in West Africa.
The overall reduction in reported incidents in 2021 is attributed to a decline in activity in the Gulf of Guinea region which saw reported incidents decrease from 81 in 2020 to 34 in 2021.
“In assessing trend data alone across the past 11 months, it would be easy, but false, to conclude that a reduction in numbers is indicative of a decline in the threat from piracy and maritime crime in West Africa,” writes Dryad Global’s Head of Intelligence, Munro Anderson.
Anderson believes that only when capability, opportunity, and intent are disrupted that a sustained reduction in threat is likely to be achieved.
When looking at the reasons for the drop in piracy off West Africa, Dryad sees a significant development being the launch of Nigeria’s highly anticipated ‘Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure programme’, also known as the ‘Deep Blue Project’ (DBP).
Further significant development within Nigeria is the launching of the ‘Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offenses (SPOMO) Act’ passed by its National Assembly in 2019, providing a dedicated legislative framework through which to support the prosecution of maritime crime and piracy.
Nigeria has to date shown a willingness to publicly signpost the successful implementation of the SPOMO Act.
“The DBP and corresponding legislative reform have placed Nigeria in a definitive position of leadership in the fight against piracy and maritime crime within the Gulf of Guinea.
In seeking to explain the steep decline in piracy throughout the Gulf of Guinea, Dryad looked at the role of intent, which it said is primarily driven by poverty.
Anderson believed that additional security resources seldom deter pirates and in Somalia, groups of disenfranchised young men were only incentivised away from piracy following the launch of onshore programmes of economic development and reform.
“Throughout 202, there has been little substantive improvement in these core conditions throughout the disparate communities of Niger Delta states.
“Consequently, without improvement in the conditions onshore that create a fertile setting for piracy, it is near impossible to argue that there has been any alteration or deterrence against individuals’ intent to engage in piracy” Dryad declared.
Piracy is essentially a form of serious organised crime and one of its hallmarks is its ability to occupy the ‘grey space’ between legitimate and legal enterprise and criminal network, with members often occupying official positions in business or local government.
With the launch of the $195 million, Deep Blue Project came a substantial level of political focus, both domestic and international.
“It could be argued that the intensity of the political focus, which has created an increasingly hostile environment for would-be piracy sponsors, has reduced piracy, via the ‘back door’ and regardless of cause, the effect is to be welcomed.
In conclusion, Dryad believed the decline in piracy in 2021 should not be seen as indicative of any fundamental or lasting change brought about by any one state or initiative.
Similarly, the IMB urged seafarers to continue exercising caution and vigilance in spite of a drop in attacks.
Exclusive! Hope rises on take-off of proposed $3bn Badagry Deep Seaport as NPA, APMT resume discussion
The approval was finalised following a presentation by the Federal Ministry of Transportation at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) during the last administration of President Mohammed Buhari.
According to officials, the port is expected to generate $53.6 billion in revenue over the 45 years concession period.
The proposed site of the project is located 55km west of Apapa and the port of Lagos, along the 55km long Lagos-Badagry Expressway, which is being upgraded from a four-lane to a ten-lane expressway.
The port is expected to have an annual throughput capacity of 1.8 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs).
The proposal for the project was announced in 2012. Feasibility studies have been completed and construction works are yet to start.
The project will be implemented in four phases, with the overall project cost estimated to range between $2 billion and $3 billion.
Also, it is expected that the new port will primarily ease pressure on the existing ports of Lagos, Apapa and Tin-Can Ports, which handle approximately 85 percent of the country’s non-oil throughput.
It will further alleviate the burden on the country’s existing ports, which are on the verge of exceeding their cargo handling capacities, and address the country’s annual container traffic, which is expected to grow to 10 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units by 2030.
Plans for the adjoining Badagry Free Trade Zone will include a power plant, oil refinery, industrial park and warehousing and Inland Container Deport functions.
Jamoh, Bello- Koko, serial award winners, bag National Productivity merit awards
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, is gradually turning into a serial award winner as he has landed yet another plaque of honour from the federal government.
An excited Jamoh expressed appreciation to the Federal Government, noting that it is a call to greater service to our Fatherland.“I am spurred by this award, particularly as it is coming from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, which underscores the ministry’s role in ensuring reward for hard work and productivity in public service”
“Let me also use this opportunity to dedicate the award to the industry’s stakeholders; external and internal, as they have made our work easier as an administration.
“We will continue to strive to make the maritime sector a viable economic driver, especially with the Blue Economy mantra, which is critical to the sustainability of the maritime sector”, Jamoh said.
Commenting the on the selection of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, the DG said it is a well-deserved honour, as she has remained a core professional and astute administrator in the coordination of activities in the Ministry and the Agencies under the supervision of the Ministry.
“I am not surprised by her selection, as she is an administrator par excellence and has remained resolute and professional in the discharge of her duties.
”This conferment can only spur me and the entire team at the Nigerian Ports Authority whose commitment to exceptional performance culminated in this recognition, to continue pushing the limit and advancing the frontiers of trade facilitation.
”Imbued with the understanding that excellence is a moving target, I want to seize this moment to assure that we will not rest on our laurels in our resolve to turn our rich maritime potentials into actualities’, an elated Koko declared.
The National Productivity Order of Merit Award was instituted by the Federal Government of Nigeria to recognize and honour productive individuals and organizations in Nigeria in the year of the award for achievements made in the preceding years.
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