Adedayo said this in Abuja at the ongoing 13th Maritime Seminar for Judges in Abuja, organised by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and National Judicial Institute.
“This country constitutes the regional power and makes significant contribution to UN peacekeeping operations regionally and internationally.
“Yet piracy or armed robbery at sea makes fishing as well as transportation through the Gulf of Guinea highly risky and this undermines investment in the sector,” he said.
In a presentation entitled “Piracy, Armed Robbery at Sea and Maritime Boundaries in Nigeria”, Adedayo said the Nigerian economy was heavily dependent on the crude oil.
Adedayo, who is also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Lagos, said the sector accounted for about 95 per cent of foreign exchange earnings and 80 per cent of government revenues.
He said the nation’s coastal line of 420 nautical miles and Exclusive Economic Zone of 200 nm, was underpopulated and relatively inaccessible
He said this allowed for many locations suitable as hideout for criminal elements and oil militants fighting against perceived economic exploitation and regional marginalisation.
“The modus operandi of such groups includes taking oil workers hostage, attacks on oil vessels, illegal oil bunkering and oil infrastructure sabotage,” he said.
He said maritime security was increasingly important at international, regional and national levels as it allowed exploitation of sea resources, the promotion of trade and development.
“In recent years, the Malacca Straits, Brazil, Philippines and the Gulf of Aden have been notable hotspots for the crime.
“The Gulf of Guinea lately is an emergent and dangerous area to ships, especially around the Nigerian coast.
“The challenge has been confronted by powerful transnational institutions such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), UN and the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
– Daily Independent