NISA laments losses in Nigeria’s shipping trade following increased pirate attacks …seeks asset deployment by Navy to combat crime

President of NISA (Middle) Mr Aminu Yusuf

The Nigerian Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA) has bemoaned various losses in its trade following the increased pirates’ attacks on Nigerian waters, even as a fresh attack was launched against a tanker waiting to enter Agbami Terminal for loading on Wednesday.

President of NISA, Mr Aminu Umar, who disclosed this to newsmen at a  conference held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, urged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA) to take immediate action.

Umar said NIMASA should engage the Nigerian Navy to deploy more assets to the areas that need to be so secured, in order to check the spate of attacks on vessels by pirates.

 “Whenever a pirate attacks your vessel there are damages, there is injury to the crew, there is either cargo loses, a lot of time loss, freight loss.
 “There is loss of lives also. All these things are trauma that we do not want to see happen to anybody.

“We look up to NIMASA , to discuss with the Navy to be able to see where those hot zones are, and to deploy more assets there, to make sure transit to that area is safe.”

Umar said NIMASA should endeavour to take immediate action deploying the navy with the available finance from the ‘sea protection’ money paid by every ship owner and every vessel coming into Nigerian waters.

“We really wish that the new Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside  should take it up with the Nigerian Navy to ensure that a lot of assets are deployed, especially that each Nigerian ship owner is paying for this sea protection.

 “Every ship that comes to this country is paying for this sea protection, so, the funds are already there. So, they need to be able to fund whatever deployment that is supposed to be there to protect those ships,” he said.

Umar said the situation was worrisome and more like what it used to be in Somalia because the pirates even attack vessels that are just passing through Nigerian waters.

“Remember, Nigeria is a coastal country, it is not only vessels that trade in Nigeria that get attacked, but also vessels that transit from West Africa to Southern Africa, get attacked.
“Actually, there were about two or three vessels that had no business in Nigeria that were just passing though and they got attacked.

“So, it is a level like what was happening in Somalia some years back that is happening today in the Gulf of Guinea,” the NISA President said.