30 August 2013, Lagos – Petroleum Resources Minister Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, Thursday in Lagos said the Gulf of Guinea, GoG, in the first half of the year, witnessed the hijack of nine vessels and 55 unauthorised vessel.
She spoke at the ongoing maiden Offshore Patrol Vessel, OPV, Africa Conference, organised by the Nigerian Navy and International Quality and Productivity Centre, IQPC.
Represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company’s, NNPC’s, Group Managing Director Andrew Yakubu, the minister said tackling sea crimes, especially illegal oil theft, must be multi-dimensional with the involvement of all GoG nations.
She said: “According to United States Naval intelligence report, the region, in the first half of 2013, has witnessed nine hijacking incidents. Beyond hijacking, it also reported that there have been 55 incidents of unauthorised vessel boarding and kidnapping.
“Disruption in crude oil supply not only affects countries, such as Nigeria and Angola. It accounts for 47 per cent and 34 per cent of the total GoG oil supply, but ultimately has an impact on the global economy.
“It is, therefore, important that policing the sea lanes of the GoG must be a joint responsibility of the GoG countries and their allies, since the problem of illegal crude oil theft is multi-dimensional.”
Mrs Alison-Madueke said the GoG consists of 15 countries with oil production exceeding 5.4 million barrels per day as at last year.
She added: “This is more than the total import by European Union’s (EU’s) 27 countries and more than half of the U.S crude imports.
– Precious Igbonwelundu , The Nation