Expert wants FG to strengthen security in Gulf of Guinea


Alabi Balogun, General Manager, Gulf Fisheries Ltd, Lagos appealed to the Federal Government to deploy more security personnel in the Gulf of Guinea to protect fishing companies operating in the area.
Balogun, also a fishing expert, made the appeal while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Wednesday.
He said that the call became necessary because vessels were being attacked by sea robbers daily in the Gulf of Guinea, adding that the attacks could scare away investors in the maritime sector.
The general manager said that Nigeria was strategic in solving the maritime security issues in the Gulf of Guinea as acknowledged in the global shipping industry.
According to him, fishing companies now employ the services of formal and informal security operatives to carry out their activities in the area.
Balogun said: “We spend between N4, 000 and N8, 000 per head daily on the operatives to enable us function on board.
“If we should place this on the economics of scale, the situation is not business friendly, but we just have to remain in business.
“As a firm, we ought to be expanding to other areas of the maritime sector but the insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea is giving us lot of concern.
“Even our workforce is shrinking because of dwindling revenue.
“We would have loved to engage some of the NIMASA trained seafarers to beef up our staff strength but the dwindling revenue would not allow it.’’
NAN reports that in 2016, the International Maritime Bureau recorded 53 piracy attacks or attempted attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, representing 28 per cent of worldwide attacks.
The IMB said that out of the 53 attacks, 36 occurred in the Nigeria’s territorial waters.
IMB said The Gulf of Guinea accounted for more than 50 per cent of the global kidnappings for ransom, with 34 seafarers kidnapped out of a total of 62 worldwide.
In 2017, the Bureau also reported 10 kidnappings involving 65 crew members in or around Nigerian waters.