Nigeria’s fragile reputation in the comity of nations has suffered a major setback as it has outstripped Indonesia to become the worst country in the world for piracy.
Alliance Global Corporate and Specialty (ACGS), a global corporate insurance carrier headquartered in Munich, Germany, made this claim in the latest review of shipping and maritime activities around the world in 2018 published on its website.
Factors responsible: The rampant kidnapping activities in the Gulf of Guinea have increased tremendously in recent years, with Nigeria accounting for 48 out of the 70 incidents recorded recently. This implies that Nigeria is responsible for almost one out of every four cases recorded globally.
Increase in the number of stowaways, particularly desperate Nigerians who hid in commercial vessels on their way to seek greener pastures abroad, also contributed significantly to the ranking. Such actions posed serious challenges for ship owners, resulting in delays, diversions, and pressure on the crew.
According to data by Intercargo and International Maritime Organization (IMO), there were 658 incidents of stowaways incidents reported between January 2010 and July 2017 at 84 ports, involving a total of 1,713 stowaways. Lagos, Nigeria, is the port which witnessed the highest number of reported incidents,’ the report stated.
What this means: At a time when the country is making efforts to attract foreign investments to grow the economy, a rating of this nature will likely put foreign investors at bay. Indeed, it will impact the country’s ease of doing business negatively and may even hamper existing foreign investments.
The insecurity generated by the flourishing and illicit kidnapping trade might force investors and expatriates to shut down their businesses and relocate elsewhere. This is capable of costing Nigerians who work in such companies their jobs.
On the macro level, Nigeria’s trade relations with several countries may become strained if the menace of piracy is left to fester.
Recall that Nairametrics recently reported that India banned its nationals from working in various state jurisdiction in the notorious Gulf of Guinea, where most of the pirate activities in Nigeria are carried out.