Nigerian pirates profit Nigerian Navy and vice versa, everybody happy
A number of security providers have been forced to suspend operations in Nigeria following the implementation of new laws governing the private maritime security sector.
The implementation of new laws governing the activities of the maritime security sector in Nigeria has forced a number of security providers to suspend their operations in the country.
The new laws were drafted and approved with the express intention of closing the loopholes previously used by non-legal contractors to supply services in Nigeria. The Nigerian authorities consider as non-legal any company that is supplying services in Nigeria without the appropriate licenses.
Operating licenses are only issued to wholly Nigerian owned and managed companies that are registered in the country. The application process involves a series of ministries and authorities and, given the audits and controls that have to be conducted, can take a considerable amount of time.
Meanwhile, security agencies operating in Gulf of Aden are turning west. According to Lloy’d List, the British security company Typhoon, which is based in Abu Dhabi and has a private fleet of a mother ship and several high-speed patrol vessels, is considering moving from East to West Africa. The situation in West Africa is significantly different, as there are national naval forces in the area. The West African country has repeatedly refused to grant permission for private security companies to operate in their waters, said Lloyd’s List.
Some strange news are coming from Nigeria, sourcing from local media. According to those news, the Navy makes its’ protection for local shipping companies compulsory. One of such companies went to court, accusing Navy of a near-racket unwanted “protection”. A vessel coming from Togo was arrested recently by Navy for not having Navy security either team, or agreement, or both. It’s not clear yet if Nigerian Navy is going to extend compulsory protection on foreign ships, too. Anyway, one thing is already clear – Nigerian authorities are fiercely protecting their pastures of security business from foreigners, and the real safety of the shipping is the last things on their minds.
Nigeria found one more source of income, which is the protection from Nigerian pirates, and is eager to exploit new opportunities. Opportunities seem to be huge and long-term. I can’t see how Nigerian Navy is going to wipe out pirates, while profiting from commercial piracy protection. It’s you know, against basic nature laws – one doesn’t eliminate his source of income out of his own will, putting aside the “duty” crap.
Voytenko MikhailMay 27