The Gulf of Guinea is a hub of illegal activities resulting in tremendous threats to global trade and security. It is the most dangerous stretch of sea for pirate attacks over the planet. To overcome the challenge, a two-day International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference took place in Ghana’s capital, Accra. It attracted experts from various countries who discussed the issues of armed robbery and piracy and the solutions. The conference focused on dealing with multiple security-related issues like piracy, illegal fishing, abducting for ransom, illegal oil bunkering and drug trafficking in the Gulf of Guinea.
Now Nigeria and Kenya are reiterating the requirement of intensifying its association on maritime security for effectiveness and efficiency. According to Wilfred Machage, the Kenyan High Commissioner to Nigeria, it was quite significant for both countries to deepen its symbiotic relationship through collective efforts of the maritime agencies.
“We want to take the partnership with Nigeria to a higher level because collective security is crucial to combat piracy, sea robbery, illegal fishing, trafficking of human and arms,” Wilfred Machage said while being a special guest of honor at the report presentation of the Naval War College 3 International Study Tour to the Republic of Kenya held in Calabar in Nigeria, as reported by BWN.
A module in the college’s training curriculum has been tailored, according to the Naval War College of Nigeria, NWCN, Rear Admiral Adeseye Ayobanjo, has been tailored towards entrenching synergy between maritime security agencies. “Participants embarked on an international study tour to the Republic of Kenya on the theme ‘Countering Piracy through Cooperative Maritime Security Efforts,” Adeseye Ayobanjo said.
The reason why Nigeria wants to reinstate its partnership with Kenya in security is to “observe and learn how the East African country successfully undertook the menace along with its maritime domain, a situation which between 2009 and 2013 mirrored the current challenges in the Gulf of Guinea.” Uhuru Kenyatta-led Kenya has made tremendous achievements in the last 10 years in fighting and dealing piracy in its maritime domain.
Nigeria is dedicatedly giving her endeavors in combating piracy in the maritime domain, which is openly visible from its plan of reviving partnership with Kenya. The naval leaders from varied countries including the US Navy Admiral James Foggo toured the US, Ghanaian and Nigerian vessels at the port of Sekondi to discuss the threats and solutions for combating the challenges.
“Our interest in the Gulf of Guinea is helping our African partners and friends legitimize and control the sea lines of communication that lead to the ports of Africa. Ninety percent of their commerce travels by those sea lines of communication. There is a lot of activity that is legal, probably more legal than illegal. We want to stop the illegal activity, it takes away from their tax base, their profitability and detracts from their economy,” Foggo said.
Nigeria’s association with Kenya is, on the other way, quite important as the West African country’s government is pondering over the construction of more dry ports across the nation. This is believed to boost trade simulation and economic development.