The Nigerian Navy has reiterated its commitment to riding the Gulf of Guinea of piracy and other criminal activities that had bedeviled the region.
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Abas, prided that reported cases of attacks on vessels on the Gulf of Guinea have dropped drastically in the last one year as a result of increased patrols and collaboration with regional Navies.
According to the Chief of Naval Staff, the Gulf of Guinea had hitherto replaced the Malacca strait as the epicenter of piracy.
Abas, who was represented at the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Navy Transformation Workshop on Performance Thinking, Leadership and Organizational Agility at the National Defence College in Abuja by the Navy Chief of Policy and Plans, Rear Admiral Begroy Ibe-Enwo, assured that the Nigerian Navy will go over and beyond the call of duty in ensuring the safety of the Gulf of Guinea.
He said: “The Nigerian Navy and our allies in the sub-region and beyond must go over and beyond the call of duty towards ensuring the safety of the Gulf of Guinea.
“Prior to now, the Malacca strait was reported as the hotbed of piracy globally, however, the Gulf of Guinea is now been reported as the epicenter of piracy.
“The international Maritime Bureau reported 72 attacks last year on vessels at sea from Ivory Coast to Cameroon. With increased patrols and concerted efforts of the Nigerian Navy and other regional Navies, only about 30 attacks, most of them unsuccessful, have been reported this year”.
He added: “It is in recognition of the importance of the Gulf of Guinea to the economic development of the nations that make up the Gulf of Guinea and the entirety of the West African sub-region, that the Nigerian Navy partnered with the Federal Ministry of Transportation and NIMASA to host the Global Maritime Security Conference with delegates from about 80 countries in attendance.
“The conference rose with a firm declaration to globally criminalize any act of insecurity and proceeds gotten via illegal maritime activities from the zone, talking about blood crude-oil, blood-shrimps similar to blood diamonds”.
He added further that the workshop will engender performance thinking and leadership qualities and develop the capacity of personnel towards confronting challenging threats, “both existing and emerging”.