Monday, April 25, 2016 8:00 pm
Nigeria is losing about 1.5 billion dollars a month to piracy, armed robbery at sea, smuggling, and fuel supply fraud, a U.S. official said.
Amb. Michele Sison, U.S. Deputy Representative to the UN, made this known on Monday in New York.
She made the revelation at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Peace Consolidation in West Africa with the theme “Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea in the Gulf of Guinea.”
Sison said illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing also generate a sizeable income loss in the hundreds of millions of dollars a year, for many countries and communities that depend on this sector to survive.
She said that earlier this month on April 11 at 7.56 p.m., pirates attacked a cargo vessel off the coast of Nigeria.The pirates waited for darkness before ambushing the vessel and boarded with force.
“The captain and crew sounded the alarm and hid in a protected space on the ship only to discover when they emerged the following day that two of their crew were missing.
“A second officer from the Philippines and an electrician from Egypt; both are still missing. This was neither the first pirate attack of the year, nor even the first attack that day.
“Earlier on April 11, the very same day, pirates had attacked a Turkish cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria, kidnapping six of the crew, including the vessel’s captain. Those men are also still missing.
“Piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea are increasing at an alarming rate, with some industry experts recording at least 32 attacks off the coast of Nigeria alone in 2016, affecting many member states, including the U.S.
“The economic consequences for the people of the region are devastating.
“According to a Chatham House report, as much as 400,000 barrels of crude oil are stolen each day in the Gulf of Guinea,’’ she said.
She said:” we have spoken many times in this chamber about the root causes of piracy, ineffective governance structures, weak rule of law, precarious legal frameworks and inadequate naval, coast guard, and maritime law enforcement.