Strengthening Nigeria’s Sea Power

New ships to boost operational capability.

Strengthening Nigeria’s Sea Power

Chiemelie Ezeobi writes that with the recent acquisition and commissioning of four naval warships by the Nigerian Navy, Nigeria’s rising sea power will help ward off pirates from its waters.

On February 4, when gunmen boarded a Greek-owned tanker anchored near a Nigerian port, killing one crew member and taking three others hostage, everyone was alarmed. According to reports, the ship was attacked while it was waiting to load at Qua Iboe, an oil terminal in south-eastern Nigeria.

Now, the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa is regarded as a new centre of piracy and Nigeria coastal waters has become a critical part of the area.

Indeed, the International Maritime Bureau recorded 33 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the area between January and September last year, according to the AFP news agency, making it a dreaded area for sailors.

Yes, 70 per cent of Nigeria’s economic growth lies on the waterways, but the maritime domain is often fraught with the challenges of maritime illegalities ranging from piracy, sea robbery, smuggling, illegal fishing to crude oil theft and others.

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