Armed piracy on Nigerian waters has reduced significantly in the past six months, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
According to the President, the drop in piracy is due to the increased and productive engagements in the Niger Delta, the Federal Government’s support to the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies, as well as several measures put in place to ensure maritime safety in the country.
Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed this at the third annual conference of the Association of African Maritime Administrations in Abuja on Thursday.
Although the President did not state the percentage drop in piracy on the country’s waters, a video presentation by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency put the figure at 60 per cent in the first quarter of this year.
In his address to delegates at the conference, Buhari noted that the challenges in the maritime sector were many but not insurmountable, as he stressed that piracy and insecurity had increased the cost of insurance in the industry.
The President stated, “At the same time, regulatory and legal frameworks to properly manage maritime resources and overcome these challenges are still inadequate.
“However, we are here to develop the human and other capacities required to respond appropriately to these challenges. Here in Nigeria, we have taken steps to tackle some of the issues peculiar to us, whilst still requiring regional and sub-regional collaboration.
“We’ve stepped up engagements to address and resolve the misunderstandings and contentious issues in the Niger Delta, which, of course, is part and parcel of the Gulf of Guinea. We are giving the required support to the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies so that they can work to effectively police our waterways for trade.”
This arrangement, he said, had helped in resolving and eliminating piracy within the Nigerian maritime sector.
“The results are encouraging. Armed piracy has dropped significantly, especially in the last six months. In the same vein, we are making substantial investment to improve human capacity and taking advantage of international training and internship opportunities in reshaping our maritime industry,” Buhari added