The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said that the Gulf of Guinea region lost a staggering $793.7 million to piracy and other maritime crimes in 2016.
The Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, stated this in a paper presentation titled, “Enhancing Collaboration amongst Stakeholders for Improved Maritime Security in Nigeria,” at the recently held Chief of the Naval Staff Annual Conference (CONSAC) in Kano State, said the economic cost of maritime insecurity is very pronounced for Nigeria compared to other countries.
However, he re-emphasised the need for enhanced stakeholder collaboration in tackling maritime security challenges in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.
The NIMASA Director General was also honoured at the event by Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, for ensuring civil-military cohesion. Drawing from terrorist attacks of 9/11 on American soil and the report of the 9/11 Commission indicting security agencies for failing to share real-time intelligence, Jamoh urged Nigerian stakeholders to “learn to share their toys” in a bid to close the gaps and tighten the security ring around the nation’s maritime space against piracy and other maritime crimes.
The NIMASA DG observed that despite the rich potential of the maritime sector in the areas of job creation and revenue generation, and its vital role in facilitating more than 90 per cent of world trade through shipping, the sector was undermined by maritime insecurity.
“The economic cost of maritime insecurity is very pronounced for Nigeria compared to other countries. While the economic cost of piracy activity in Asia was estimated at $4.5 million (as of 2016), the estimated economic cost of maritime insecurity in the GoG was about $793.7 million,” he added.
The NIMASA DG identified sources through which insecurity led to loss of revenue in the maritime sector as ransom payment, insurance premiums, re-routing ships, security equipment, losses to oil and fishing industry, and cost of security escort.