Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) throughout the last 10 years dropped to an all-time low in 2022. While concentrated efforts are being made to minimize piracy within the GoG to its lowest minimum, 2 tragic instances were documented within the GoG in the recent 3 weeks.
The initial incident involving the hijacking of the motor tanker MT MONJASA REFORMER occurred on March 25, 2023, 144 nautical miles (nm) west-southwest of Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo.
Later, it was found that the pirates had kidnapped six crew members from the ship. The second incident included the hijacking of MT SUCCESS-9 on April 10, 2023, about 306 nautical miles southwest of Abidjan Fairway Buoy (FWB), Cote d’Ivoire.
In reaction to the recent spike in piracy incidents in the GoG, the Nigerian Navy (NN) has sustained the presence of her capital ships at sea as well as directed operations bases to enhance efforts to dominate their Areas of Operations. It is pertinent to state that the NN vectored Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) GONGOLA to rendezvous with MT MONJASA REFORMER in the company of NNS KANO and a French Warship to escort the vessel to Lome, Togo. The NN has equally continued to employ its surveillance infrastructure to monitor shipping activities within the nation’s maritime environment and will continue to exploit intelligence to track the activities of criminals in order to maintain the sanctity of the Nigerian Maritime Environment (NME).
To this end, the NN enjoins all seafarers to continue to carry out their legitimate businesses without fear.
While noting that no incident of piracy has occurred within NME and the area is safe for maritime and economic activities, the NN would continue to sustain a credible presence to deter any form of criminality. In securing the NME and GoG in general, the NN appreciates the efforts of international partners under the Coordinated Maritime Presence arrangement as well as the support of other maritime stakeholders that play other roles in the collective security of the GoG.