NIMASA dismisses report placing Nigeria top on piracy list

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has described as unverified, reports stating that Nigeria had again taken the lead in piracy attacks in the second quarter of 2019.

The report released by the International Maritime Bureau, indicated that between January and June, Nigeria led the table of pirate attacks with 21 recorded incidents, beating Indonesia that recorded 11, Venezuela with six attacks and Peru with four attacks.

The 2019 second quarter figure is, however, lower than that of 2018 where Nigeria recorded 31 attacks.

IMB noted in its report that four locations contributed 55 per cent to the total 77 attacks reported during the period.

The report read in part, “Generally, all waters in and off Nigeria remain risky. Vessels are advised to be vigilant as many incidents may have gone unreported.

“Incidents continue to rise substantially, especially kidnapping of crews for ransom. Vessels are advised to take additional measures in the high-risk waters.”

Although, there was a reduction in the number of attacks in the African region, the report stated that Nigeria still led the continent all through 2018 and in the first half of 2019.

In first six months of 2019, 20 bulk carriers, nine container vessels, 12 crude oil tankers, one Liquefied Natural Gas vessel, 22 chemical tankers and two offshore tug vessels  were attacked.

Reacting to the development, an officer in the International Ships and Ports Facility Security Code Unit of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Mr Adebayo Olatoke, said that the IMB had many sources of information, adding that some of the information were not correct.

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