Nigeria is losing an average of 400,000 barrels amounting to $1.5billion monthly to the activities of sea pirates according the latest study of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
According to the IMB, the loss represents almost 5 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), even as it listed the Gulf of Guinea as the most dangerous piracy zone for oil companies, with huge record of attacks in recent years.
The report indicated that the first quarter of 2020 was marked by a peak in maritime piracy worldwide, where the Gulf of Guinea recorded 21 of the 47 reported attacks.
“For instance, 17 crew members were also kidnapped during these attacks. In 2019, 38 attacks were reported throughout the year worldwide. There are 121 kidnappings for the Gulf of Guinea, 90 per cent of the total sea abductions in the world.”
According to experts, this situation is explained by the fact that the Gulf of Guinea is home to at least eight oil exporting countries with extensive exploration programs throughout the area which will see more new producers in the coming years.
It should be noted that the majority of incidents occurred in Nigerian territorial waters, in particular around the Niger Delta, in Equatorial Guinean waters, but also, to a lesser extent, on the maritime platform of the port of Lagos.
For Verisk Maplecroft, this trend should continue and strengthen this year and next year. Alexandre Raymakers, senior analyst for Africa at Verisk Maplecroft, regrets the lack of adequate equipment and personnel within the region’s security forces to deal effectively with the problem. He also recalled that the poor redistribution of the oil windfall is the real basis of this phenomenon.
In addition, the analyst warns that international oil companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, ENI and Total, which operate in Nigeria, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, are particularly at risk of piracy in their supply chains in the area.