Piracy and armed robbery attacks in Nigerian waters fell 77 per cent in the first nine months of 2021 when compared to the same period in 2020, the International Maritime Bureau said in its latest report.
The entire Gulf of Guinea witnessed a similar decline in criminal activities with only 28 incidents reported compared to 46 last year.
“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 report said. “Most notably, Nigeria only reported four incidents in the first nine months of 2021, in comparison to 17 in 2020 and 41 in 2018.”
The report said crew kidnappings in the region also dropped with only one crew member kidnapped in the third quarter of 2021, compared to 31 crew members taken in five separate incidents during the same quarter in 2020.”
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) welcomed the report Wednesday.
The Director General of NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh, said in a statement by Edward Osagie, Assistant Director, public relations, the latest figures came following the launch of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project, on June 10 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Jamoh said the agency had put in place measures to sustain the current momentum of security in the country’s waters.
“We are delighted by this latest news from the IMB and the trend of progressive reduction in piracy and related incidents on our waters,” he said.
“But we cannot afford to be complacent about our commitment to the security of our maritime domain.
“We will continue to strive for more effective measures to keep Nigerian waters safe and secure,” he said. (NAN)