Are you optimistic that the recently signed anti-piracy bill will help address the issue of piracy in Nigeria?

 Mr. John Okpono (Merchant Navy)

Before now, we didn’t have it in Nigeria, but now we have it and it’s a good step in the right direction. But for the security aspect of it we are calling on the government to do more to be able to tackle this insecurity. Talking about the speed boat, we are looking at the power of the speed boat. Because when you have an engine capacity that cannot withstand that of the pirates it is a big challenge. When they are using an engine with 500, 000 capacity and you are suing 100, 000 capacity you know it will not work, they cannot match. So let’s look at the facility they are using and the capacity, there should also be SOS so that when you suspect any vessels you quickly send that and the response should also be quick. So government should give them the facilities that will enable them respond to distress calls. 

Dr. Frank Ukor (AREFFN)  

The signing of the anti piracy bill is a step in the right direction; we want piracy to end in this country. So if the President has signed the bill, it is a very good development, it is just to get the people to enforce it and then the government should pay more attention to it and piracy will reduce, it will not stop immediately, but it will reduce.

Dr. Osita Chukwu (Stakeholder)

The bill will of course help to take care of piracy because it is a bill that will take care of all the challenges and problems we have on the waterways, so it will definitely handle that and it is a step in the right direction.

Captain Kunle Olayiwola (Master Mariner)

Yes, the bill will go long way because there is definition of piracy now unlike before when they are talking of territorial waters only when it has to be armed robbery, now they can go beyond territorial water and charge anyone that committed this crime even to the Economic Exclusive Zone; this law can catch up with them, so it is a good one. So that anybody caught will be prosecuted under piracy act unlike before when they had no backing of law to prosecute them, to call them armed robbers or something else.

Osuala Nwagbara (Maritime Lawyer)

I have not seen the new bill, but I think it will send a signal to those who commit crime on our waters, it will definitely send a signal, but the far reaching effect is - what can be achieved by putting other things in place, so the Act is not enough, but surely it will send a signal. Matthew Alalade (President, Merchant Navy)

Yes, we thank the President for signing the Anti- Piracy bill, the Anti-piracy bill I believe will empower the relevant agencies to prosecute any vessels used for maritime crime

In addition to addressing maritime insecurity, the new law fulfils the international requirement for stand-alone legislation on piracy, as against the approach of using the Maritime Operations Coordinating Board Amendment Bill to criminalise piracy. Obinna Okafor (NAGAFF Chairman, Ikorodu)

Yes, we can only be optimistic, and believe that the bill help to reduced piracy on our waterways,  I learnt that Nigeria tops the list in the Gulf of Guinea when it comes to piracy, I believe signing the bill is a move in the right direction that will curb the issue of piracy on our waterways. Dr. Segun Musa (Stakeholder) 

Yes, it should to an extent, piracy is a global disaster and there is no particular measure we can use to eradicate it, we can only minimize it and we hope that the bill will address the major lapses and once the major lapses is taken care of, definitely to a reasonably extent it will assist. 

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