Nigeria loses about $25.5 billion annually to illegal maritime activities and another $1.3 billion to illegal bunkering, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Commission, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said.
t the backdrop of poor coordination of activities among Federal Government’s agencies in the manning of Nigeria’s maritime domain, President Muhammadu Buhari has said it was a worthwhile investment to encourage the Nigerian Navy to guarantee economic well-being within the context of the government’s effort to revamp and reposition the economy.
Speaking at the Chief of Naval Staff Annual Conference, CONSAC, he stated:
The untiring efforts of the Nigerian Navy which has seen to the reduction of crude oil theft, violent crimes and other illegalities in the nation’s maritime domain is noteworthy. It is gratifying to also note Nigerian Navy’s zeal and patriotic commitment to internal security duties in the hinterland and the nation’s adjoining waterways as exemplified in the robust deliberations of this conference.
In light of the situation, the Chief of the Naval Staff, CNS, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo noted: “Characteristically, the maritime threats have become of major concern and are evolving and challenging the combat capability of the Nigerian Navy and other stakeholders. In the recent past, a huge capability gap has emerged among the stakeholders in the efficient discharge of their constitutional mandates.”
Against this backdrop, there were revelations from stakeholders regarding the extent of loses and shortcomings resulting from the dearth of collaborative efforts among agencies of government in the maritime space.
Speaking at the conference, the NIMASA boss said, “From available statistics Nigeria loses about $25.5billion annually to illegal maritime activities in her waters while NNPC loses about $1.35billion on illegal bunkering. The cost of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea due to stolen goods, insecurity, and insurance has been estimated to be about $2 billion with a significant decline in Sea Route Attractiveness”.
Overall, Mr. Gambo explained that the present situation calls for constant reappraisals, greater collaboration as well as inter-agency cooperation among stakeholders. His words:
In recent times, some federal and local initiatives were initiated towards ensuring greater productivity of security efforts. The Nigeria Navy is saddled with the mandate to secure our maritime environment which possesses strategic importance to the nation’s economy.