Stakeholders in the maritime industry have reacted differently to the recent report by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) of the International Chambers of Commerce about increasing piracy and maritime crimes on Lagos waters.
Recall that the report cited Lagos as recording 11 incidents in 2019, which is the highest in any part in the world.
However, in a chat with Shipping Position Daily, the President of Nigerian Indigenous Ship-Owners Association (NISA) Mr. Aminu Umar faulted the reports, he said it is far from truth.
He said, “to be honest, I am surprised with the report, I don’t think the piracy attack is true, because we have not heard piracy attack in Lagos for a very long time, maybe what they mean is inside the port and not the Lagos Anchorage, even at that, we have not heard of such report in a long time.
“The truth is the main place we use to have piracy is from Brass to Bonny, these are the very dangerous areas where you have kidnapping and hijacking of crew, so we have not heard of such in Lagos within the last two years”, he said.
Also reacting to the report the President General Maritime Workers Union (MWUN) Comrade Adewale Adeyanju also said that, in recent rime, the Navy and other waterways security agencies have been up and doing, even as he also disagreed with the IMB that, Lagos takes the lead in global piracy attacks.
“I believe the Navy are trying, our security is getting better, I have worked with fishing trawlers before and I know what security looks like then, but now security on the waterways has improved and I believe it (the rating) cannot be true, they are trying”, he said.
However, the President of Nigerian Association of Masters Mariners; Capt Tajudeen Alao differs in his opinion, as he agreed with the report, he said many of the attacks in Lagos are not reported, adding that only NIMASA can send data to IMO, he urged NIMASA to investigate all marine casualties up to the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).
“I concur with their (IMB) information, many attacks are not reported in Nigeria, NIMASA as point of contact and IMO as focal point must have the records and only NIMASA can send data to IMO.
“So all marine casualties in Nigerian waters up to EEZ must be investigated by NIMASA Surveyors and sent to IMO in standard format. Nigeria has regional responsibility to respond to Search and Rescue with the Maritime Regional Coordinating Centre installation at Kirikiri, for Search and Rescue support in West and Central Africa regions.
Also reacting to the report, the Chairman Shippers Forum Mrs. Margaret Orakwusi also said that the report may be far from reality as she said the issue of piracy has reduced in the country, she submitted that, the report does not depict the truth about piracy in the country.
According to her, “I don't think so, people should not just sit in their country and write what they feel about the country or Africa, but I think rather, the issue of piracy has reduced in the country”.
“I believe the report also stated that piracy in the country has reduced, so that is what we should focus on. People should not just sit in a place and write anything they feel like" she said.