Port Facility Security Officers (PFSO); a body of security heads at the various port terminals and facilities have raised alarm over the safety of multi-Billion Naira Egina Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel.
At a meeting of the body in Lagos last week, the PFSO pointed at rising cases of attack on ships in Lagos and the Niger Delta, and pleaded with the Government not to toy with the safety of Egina which was received recently at the facilities of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL).
Speaking on behalf of the security officers, the PFSO Chairman; Mr Ignatius Uche called for increased security presence around the huge facility.
The forum said it was basing the Egina FPSO alert on the state of security of ships and crew on the nation’s coastal and territorial waters.
Speaking at the meeting, Ignatius Uche said that the investment on the Egina is too huge to be left without adequate security arrangement.
Even though the PFSO chair did not mention any recent attacks on ships on Nigerian waters, Shipping Position Daily recalls that armed pirates have attacked two vessels in separate incidents in the last one week off the coast of Bonny Island in the Niger Delta.
Also, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, reported that, pirates, armed with guns, boarded a product tanker approaching the Bonny Fairway Buoy. They damaged some navigation and communication equipment and escaped.
Also about eight armed pirates in a speed boat attacked a container vessel underway in the Bonny Area of the Niger Delta.
In another case, a speed boat with six to seven armed pirates chased and fired upon a container carrier around Lagos anchorage
Perhaps, on the strength of these attacks, he said, “the Forum is very concerned about the security of the Egina because this is an investment the country cannot afford to toy with’’.
“I also think that the establishment of a maritime security fund will go a long way to take care of the Egina and every other investment in the maritime industry”, he added.
On the strength of the serial attacks, the PFSO suggested that a Maritime Security Fund should be established to ensure the provision of adequate and proper security of investments like the Egina.
Its chair explained that the Fund could also be extended to other prime investment in both the maritime, oil and gas industries.
He commended the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (ADOL) base in Lagos for hosting the Egina in its base and providing the needed security.