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Cautious optimism on war against piracy

Published Wed, Jul 7, 2021 · 05:50 AM

THE awful situation facing merchant seafarers in the Gulf of Guinea, off West Africa, has been subject of comment in this column many times over the years.

Now there has been a development that may make a real difference. Last month Nigeria announced significant investment in military and law enforcement infrastructure to secure its maritime domain as part of a stepping up of actions to address the ongoing piracy issue in the Gulf of Guinea. Managed by the Nigerian Maritime Safety Agency (Nimasa), the multi-agency project is intended to significantly increase maritime security in the region, an area blighted by piracy, armed robbery, and other maritime crimes.

A central command and control centre based in Lagos is to oversee a network of integrated assets including two special mission vessels, two special mission long-range aircraft, 17 fast-response vessels capable of speeds of 50 knots, three helicopters, and four airborne drones, providing 24/7 cover for the region. These assets are intended to complement the Yaounde International Regional Coordination structure offering real capabilit…

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