Maritime Security: Why Piracy Dropped In Nigeria Waters, Gulf of Guinea- Navy

By Stephen Ubanna

 More facts have emerged why Piracy has reduced to the barest minimum in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea. This is because of the deployment of the Deep Blue Assets, comprising of the $195 million maritime assets   16 Armoured vehicles, 17 interceptor Boats, two Special Mission vessels for coastal patrol, two special mission aircrafts, for Surveillance of Nigerian Economic Zone, EEZ, three helicopters and three unmanned aerial vehicle into Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea which are functioning to its fullest.

That much was confirmed by   Victor Choji a Commodore and acting Fleet Commander, Western Naval Command and Commander Deep Blue Project , during a recent working visit by  Rear Admiral  Mohammed Abdullahi , Flag Officer Commanding, FOC,, Western Naval Command  to Bashir Jamoh, OFR, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and his Management Team.   

Commodore Chioji,  who could not his feelings noted that  the Nigerian Navy  under the close watch of  Emmanuel Ogalla, a Rear Admiral  who is fully committed  to the success of the Deep Blue Project    has sustained the tempo of operations inherited from his predecessor, Vice Admiral  Muazu Zubairu Gambo, rtd,   across  the south, central   and south eastern  regions  ‘’to enhance control of the nation’s maritime domain’’.

Osagie Edward, an Assistant  Director and NIMASA, spokesperson, disclosed that during  an interactive seession, Commodore Chioji , did not hesitate in telling  Rear Admiral Abddullahi,  and  further reassuring the Management of  the Management of the Maritime regulatory agency  that the $195 million maritime security assets  are well deployed. He had said that five armoured vehicles are deployed in Port Harcourt water ways in Rivers state and three in Bonny, also in the state to put the Local Pirates and their external Collaborators under close watch.r

Given the high level of pirates activities  in the Niger Delta region, which is more pronounced in the PortHarcourt and Bonny water ways  may have informed why the  project  team  had deployed an additional  10 more  armoured vehicles  there and more personnel.

He revealed that during the just concluded February 25, 2023, Presidential and National Assembly elections as well as the March 31, governor and state Assembly elections, ‘’the mere presence of the Deep Blue assets alone in those flashpoint locations  provided the needed  inference  that was required  to force the criminal elements to go underground   or relocate another location within Gulf of Guinea region.  Enough of the Niger Delta region.

We now turn to the central Zone operations. Commodore Chioji, the Deep Blue project Fleet Commander had said that the Navy which operates and maintains the sea maritime security assets  has deployed  three units of  special mission equipment in Brass, Byelsa, home state of former President Goodluck Jonathan .

The superlative performance  of the maritime security assets deployed in PortHarcourt, Bonny water ways, all in Rivers state and Broaa, Bayelsa state , may  facilitated the deployment two  interceptor Boats  to support  the anti-piracy operations  in Lagos  Inland waterways .   ‘’I can state categorically  that the project team  have the full backing of the Nigerian Navy Leadership  for the success  of the Deep Blue project so far’’, Commodore  Chioji had aid.

In his own remarks, Rear Admiral Abdullahi,  the FOC, Western Naval Command,  , may have gladdened the heart of Jamoh and members of the Management Team when he said  that ‘’NIMASA, which  oversees the Deep Blue project has remained   the Command  first point  of call  since he assumed  duty,noting that  ‘’it underscores the importance the Nigerian Navy  pays  to her relationship  with the agency’’.

Hear him: I am here  in recognition  of the support  and cooperation the Navy  currently  enjoys  with the  agency  ‘’, stressing that the two agencies still have a long way to go  in order ‘’to actualise  the mandate  of safeguarding  the Nigerian maritime domain.

He was said to have also used  the opportunity of the visit  ‘’to pledge  the continuous support  of the Western Naval Command  to the  agency , as well as look forward  to more cooperation  in the coming years for the  overall good of the nation’s maritime  domain.  


In apparent response to the Naval Chiefs remarks during the visit, Jomoh, the NIMASA, Director General was said to have  restated  the agency’s  commitment ‘’ to a robust relationship  with the Nigerian Nay  towards the economic  development of the country’’. He had said that the agency   and the Navy, already have a lot in  in common  to  ensure  safety and security  in the nation’s water ways,

 He asserted that ‘’while  the Nigerian Navy  takes  care of the kinetic operations , the two parties  will have to work in hand  if the must succeed in their efforts to stamp out piracy in Nigerian waters and he Gulf of Guinea. The NIMASA , helmsman avered that  that if one  should  look at the armed Forces act , the Nigerian Navy, particular, has a role   to play  in ensuring  the implementation and enforcement  of its  act and that of the Nigerian Customs and Excise Management Act, CEMA, cap 2004.

Jamoh , the NIMASA, Chief Executive Officer, CEO,  who  had repeatedly told stakeholders that cares to listen  that that desire of the agency under his Leadership  is ‘’to earn  full value  for the funds invested and still investing  in the operations of the Deep Blue Project ‘’,  noted that  it is  in constant  liaison  with the National Assembly   to ensure an update  of the country’s maritime Laws, particular,  the Merchant Shipping Act to guarantee   punitive measures that will be passed into Law to deter criminalities in Nigeria water ways and  the Gulf of Guinea.

He was said to have given kudos  to the Rear Admiral Ogallah led Nigerian Navy  for their efforts  in ‘’tracking vessels  which switched off their Automatic  Identification System , AIS, in Nigerian waters  while calling  for improved  synergy  amongst all the relevant  security agencies  in the maritime sector, the Navy, and the marine arm of the Nigerian Police Force, NPF,  to quickly tackle head on  pockets of recent  criminal activities   in  the Lagos anchorage and inland water ways.

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