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Amaechi R

New waterways security deal with Israeli firm’ll end need for vessels escort

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Before now, several foreign shipping companies had been spending well over N14bn to private security firms to escort their vessels into the high seas due to soaring menace of pirates.
Otherwise, foreign shipping companies spend over N13.76 billion ($45 million) annually to escort their vessels from one point to another on Nigeria’s waterways.
However, analysts say with the new deal announced by the Minister of Transportation during the World Maritime Day (WMD) held in Lagos, chances for related unforeseen expenses will go down.
According to the Minster, the Israeli firm (name with held) will within three year of the contract worth over $193m, train and drill local security details on the art of securing the Nigerian waterways and hands off to the trained personnel.
Statistics show that about four major international shipping companies operate in the country including Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Grimaldi and CMA/CGM in addition to smaller foreign and local shipping companies operating on the waterways.
Latest report by the United States of America (USA), through its maritime administration which was published the latest Maritime Alert indicated several red flags on Nigeria waterways due to rising serial pirate attacks on Nigerian bound vessels.
Such deadly attacks had been linked with kidnappings and some times, killings of crew members One of the latest attacks referred to by the US, said six crew members, including the captain were kidnapped from a Liberian-flagged container ship named Demeter while the ship was sailing some 50 nautical miles south-west of Bonny, Nigeria.

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