UK urges Nigeria to strengthen economy by checking oil theft

Oil theft, oil thief14 July 2014, Abuja – The UK Chamber of Shipping has urged the Federal Government to strengthen its fight against oil theft, to enhance the national economy.

The chamber, in its website on Friday, said that the country loses about N2 trillion a year to oil theft due to poor security on its coast.

The Report signed by Mr Guy Platten, Chief Executive of the chamber, said that over the past 10 years, 45 seafarers had been killed and 459 held hostage in the Gulf of Guinea region.

The Report said that lack of security of the coast of Nigeria was threatening its seafarers.

According to the Report, such criminal activity is threatening Nigeria’s economy and hampering the region’s potential for prosperity.

The Report also said that maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea exposes the 6.3 billion pounds (about N1.8 trillion) annual trade with the region to risks.

“It also affects 12 per cent of oil imported into the UK,” the report said.

The Report said that ships in the region were attacked once a week and a significant proportion of the attacks were unreported.

It noted that in 2013, 60 per cent of attacks were within Nigerian territorial waters.

The Report said that most people were aware of pirate activities off Somalia, but lawlessness in the Gulf of Guinea was a major threat to seafarers.

According to it, that lawlessness also affects the UK’s energy and trade security as well its region’s economic development.

“Nigeria and other states in the region have known for 30 years that piracy is a problem, but little has been done and enough is enough,” the Report said.

It said that the economic benefits were evident in Ghana and Togo since efforts were made to improve their maritime security through investments in security patrols.

The Report cautioned that affected countries could remain poor if their maritime security issues were not tackled.



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