Nigerian Navy Raises Alarm Over Upsurge in Sea Robbery on Lagos Waterways


Rear Admiral Mustapha Bala Hassan, Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command

—As NIMASA Deep Blue Assets Makes another Arrest


The Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Mustapha Bala Hassan has said that there has been an increase in number of Sea robbery on the Lagos waterways, even as he mentioned another case of kidnapping.

The Naval boss stated this at a function to mark Day of the Seafarer 2024 in Lagos on Tuesday, while assuring that the Navy is collaborating with NIMASA and the Lagos State Government to unravel a new security measure to cub the menace.

Hassan lamented that the Nigerian maritime industry is highly underfunded and that the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) a controversial fund domiciled under NIMASA, is the key to unlocking all the programmes in the maritime sector.

“We have plans for enhancing safety and security in our waters, we would unravel them soon, we have a plan with NIMASA, we have a plan with the Lagos State Government, you can see a little surge in sea robbery. Sea robbery is any theft on the waters which is not beyond 12-nautical miles from there back to our inland waters.

“We have had kidnapping here on Lagos waters, even though I saw it on an international portal being reported as piracy, I however sent them a report that it is Sea robbery and it happend within Lagos Town.

“The Lagos State Government would soon unravel our plans for clamping down on insecurity on our waters, we would then Police the waters adequately” he said

The Naval boss highlighted the efforts of the Navy in recent years to ensure that incidents of piracy are brought to a standstill with the efforts and instrumentality of the NIMASA deep blue project.

“For the Navy, our role is about security, and in the past few years, you would agree that we have done a good job by fighting piracy to a standstill.
When we come inwards, we have good partnerships with NIMASA and Police towards enhancing safety and general security in our territorial waters and inland waterways.

“The NIMASA Deep Blue Project has played a critical role in bringing safety and security to our waters. Yesterday, an asset of the Deep Blue Project made an arrest, they have been very key to our operations” he said

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT, on Tuesday, said it intercepted 72 bags of cannabis along Elegushi area of Lekki, Lagos State with the Deep Blue Assets of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

In a statement by the Base Information Officer, Lieutenant Hussaini Ibrahim, he said the commander NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Rafiu Oladejo, disclosed that the contrabands were intercepted on 5th of June 2024.

According to Ibrahim, each of the sativa which weigh 40 kilograms was intercepted by NNS BEECROFT Quick Response Team and Deep Blue Assets of NIMASA.

He added that the arrest was made possible by the unrelenting efforts of the Base at gathering actionable intelligence and maintenance of presence in Lagos waterways, under the tenets of Operations WATER GUARD.

He stated further that Commodore Oladejo explained that the effort was sequel to the Strategic Directive of Chief of the Naval Staff,Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla’s directive to the command to maintain credible presence along Lagos waterways and adjoining creeks to rid the maritime environment of all forms of crime and criminality.

He further warned perpetrators of illicit drugs to desist from such acts as NNS BEECROFT will not rest on its oars to pursuing all criminal elements operating within its area of operation.

“This successful arrest of large quantity of cannabis sativa underscores the unwavering commitment of NNS BEECROFT to curtailing spread and use of illicit drugs among teaming youth which negatively affect their health and threaten national security.

The arrested cannabis sativa were handed over to the officials of National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Marine Command, for further investigation,” he stated.

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