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The Nigerian navy has vowed to deter pirates and sea criminals access to Nigerian Maritime Environment (NME), urging seafarers to go about their sailing businesses without fear of attack.
The Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade–Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG) information centre had reported that the latest incident occurred on Monday, April 10 approximately 300 nautical miles south-southwest of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
According to the spokesman of the navy, the Nigerian Maritime Domain has been well fortified to forestall such incident.
His words: “The spate of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) within the last 10 years reduced to an all time low in 2022. While concerted efforts are being made to reduce piracy within the GoG to its lowest minimum, 2 unfortunate incidences were recorded within the GoG in the last three weeks.
“The first incident which involved the hijack of Motor Tanker (MT) MONJASA REFORMER occurred on March 25, 2023 at a location 144 nautical mile (nm) West-South-West (WSW) of Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo.
“It was later discovered that the pirates abducted 6 crew members from the vessel. The second incident involved the hijack of MT SUCCESS-9 about 306 nm SW of Abidjan Fairway Buoy (FWB), Cote d’Ivoire on April 10, 2023.
“In reaction to the recent spike in piracy incidents in the GoG, the Nigerian Navy (NN) has sustained presence of her capital ships at sea as well as directed operations bases to enhance efforts to dominate their Areas of Operations. It is pertinent to state that the NN vectored Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) GONGOLA to rendezvous MT MONJASA REFORMER in company of NNS KANO and a French Warship to escort the vessel to Lome, Togo.
“The NN has equally continued to employ her surveillance infrastructure to monitor shipping activities within the nation’s maritime environment and will continue to exploit intelligence to track activities of criminals in order to maintain sanctity of the Nigerian Maritime Environment (NME).
“To this end, the NN enjoins all seafarers to continue to carry out their legitimate businesses without fear.
While noting that no incident of piracy has occurred within NME and the area is safe for maritime and economic activities, the NN would continue to sustain credible presence to deter any form of criminality.
“In securing the NME and GoG in general, the NN appreciates the efforts of international partners under the Coordinated Maritime Presence arrangement as well as the support of other maritime stakeholders that play other roles in the collective security of the GoG.”