Maritime Security: Why Philippines seafarers will demand higher pay coming to Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria

The recent pirate attacks around the Gulf of Guinea and in Nigeria’s territorial waters may have caused the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to resolve that its seafarers will henceforth demand higher pays when coming to the area.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration in a recent report, was said to have classified the Gulf of Guinea, including Nigerian waters as high risk destination, which will warrant their seafarers being paid ‘hazard charges.’
Maritime Lawyer and Pioneer President of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Mike Igbokwe, in an interview described the decision of the POEA as one to protect interest of its citizens as a result of the increase in piracy attacks on vessels operating within the Gulf of Guinea and Nigerian waters.
Igbokwe said, “The Gulf of Guinea is now a high risk area and because we are close to it, our waters too have been categorized as high risk area -inland waterways, the Niger Delta and beyond.
“They are talking of 12 nautical miles from the water…this represents our territorial waters so what they are saying is that our waters are unsafe and they blame it on piracy.
“They have now come to recognise our waters as pirates infested and risky to their citizens because they are seafarers. They recognize that they are plying those risky routes, and want compensation for them if there is death or accidents and in terms of wages.
“So, they are now trying to give them more wages to encourage them. Just like those days, Baghdad, during the Iraqi war was high risk area but some people did not mind going there because they got more money.”
“The freights or hires will go higher and bring imported inflation into the Nigerian economy. The reason why it will go high is that the owner of the ship on which the crew are or who employed them or the demise charterer will end up paying more to them in terms of wages.”

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA) is responsible for ensuring maritime security in Nigeria.