Why Gulf of Guinea is world’s most dangerous waterway – Ex-NIMASA Director-General
Former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside on Tuesday said that the illegal and unreported activities carried out at the Gulf of Guinea has made global bodies marked the Gulf as the most dangerous waterways in the world.
Presenting a paper titled, “Security in the Gulf of Guinea” at an event organised by Health of the Mother Health (HOMEF) for its School of Ecology in Benin City, Edo state, he said the unique ecosystem in the Gulf of Guinea has attracted global attention and its attendance danger in the waterways.
Making his presentation through zoom, he said that the reasons why the Gulf has attained such status is because it accounts for 60 per cent of Africa crude oil production, 5 per cent of global fossil oil reserve, 2.7 per cent of fossil natural gas reserve globally among many other advantages.
He said: “Both the United Nations office of drugs and crimes, the International Maritime Bureau, and the International Maritime Organisations classified the Gulf of Guinea as one of the most dangerous maritime areas in the world, at least this was the case in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
“For many reasons, the Gulf of Guinea is a place of interest Internationally. It is a place of interest to those who are into shipping and fishing. So for diverse reasons, the ecosystem of the Gulf of Guinea is unique. It is the second or third largest in the world.
Giving an account of some of the dangerous activities in the area, Peterside said, “the Gulf of Guinea accounts for 95 per cent global kidnappings at sea. As of 2019, we had 111 cases of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, while piracy is also rampant there with 120,000 barrels of crude oil stolen daily as of 2020.”
Earlier, in his welcome address, Nnimmo Bassey, Director, HOMEF called for an end to sea piracy and protection of the water ecosystem.
“We are calling for an end to sea piracy. we call for the protection of our water ecosystem; we call for the protection of our fishes. We call an end to human rights abuses by security agents in our waters. We are calling for use of maritime resources for the good of the citizens and in sustainable ways,” he said.