14 October 2015, Lagos – West African countries are losing $2 billion annually to maritime piracy and armed robbery, the Ghanaian Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Geoffrey Mawuli Biekro, has said.
Biekro, who spoke in Accra, said maritime piracy and armed robbery on the African continent mainly took place along the Gulf of Guinea and the Indian Ocean.
He maintained that the prospects of the oil and gas industry was threatened by the activities of maritime pirates and armed robbers at sea and that efforts were required to combat the menace.
Biekro said the impact of maritime piracy had direct bearing on economic development of any country and great attention is needed to ensure maritime security around the countries’ territorial waters.
According to the Chief of Naval Staff, there were efforts by both global and regional bodies to combat maritime piracy, which has resulted in cooperation to provide solutions in that direction.
He said the international maritime organisation was also helping countries with technical support to address some of the challenges associated with maritime piracy.
On the efforts of Ghana towards maritime security, Rear Admiral Biekro said the country has established the marine police unit and has also boosted the fleet of ships for the Navy to improve monitoring of the country’s territorial waters. “The Ghana Navy will continue to seek measures to monitor and address maritime piracy along the West Africa sub-region,” he added.