The Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) says the effectiveness of $195 million Deep Blue project and others should be evaluated, especially with the resurgence of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
Mr Godfrey Bivbere, MARAN President, said this in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.
He added that the regional effort; Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum/Share Awareness and De-confliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE) should also be evaluated.
Bivbere said that the evaluation of these projects would be done during the inaugural maritime security summit; MARAN Annual Maritime Lecture (MAMAL 2023) holding on Nov. 21 in Lagos.
“The association is worried about the resurgence of maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We are now questioning the effectiveness of regional effort; GoG-MCF/SHADE, launched by Inter-Regional Coordination Centre (ICC) Yaoundé and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in 2021.
“The association will also use the summit to gather maritime stakeholders to evaluate the Federal Government’s investment of $195Million in a maritime security contract called, deep blue project, anchored by NIMASA,” he said.
Bivbere noted that notwithstanding the regional collaboration effort, there had been a resurgence of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, the most recent being an attack on a Marshall Islands-flagged MT Nyon.
“The attack which occurred 16 nautical miles south of Conakry, Guinea on June 22, left several crew members with minor injuries,” he said
The MARAN president said the inaugural edition of MAMAL 2023 was themed, “Maritime Security: Emerging Threats and Actionable Steps”.
He noted that the theme was targeted at proffering long-term, sustainable solutions that would effectively address maritime crimes in the GoG region and protect seafaring and fishing communities in the affected countries.
“MARAN sought to clarify why criminality on Nigerian waterways increases in November and December of every year.
“The Nigerian Navy, regional navies and other stakeholders in the maritime sector including Shipowners, NIMASA, shipping lines, terminal operators, Nigerian Shippers Council, and major seafarers’ organisations are all expected to attend the event,” he said.