The Flag Officer Commanding, FOC, Western Naval Command, WNC, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas, made this disclosure while speaking to journalists about the forthcoming Offshore Patrol Vessels Africa Conference scheduled to hold in Lagos.
The FOC said the African continent was increasingly witnessing progressive surge in offshore activities across the broad spectrum of maritime trade and business.
He added that with such great opportunities amidst immense resources, many observers believe it presented incredible and exciting markets for the future.
He said, “Despite this, it is regrettable that maritime insecurity and illegal activities in the maritime domain threaten and invariably undermine the great potentials of the African continent.
“The magnitude of these threats is aptly captured by a study of the advocacy group tagged ‘Ocean beyond or piracy’ in June 2014 which estimated that piracy in the GoF cost the world between 740 and 950million dollars last year and this cost is expected to rise in 2013.
“In response to this, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, in repose to the maritime insecurity in the GoF aptly advocated for an international conference of naval chiefs and stakeholders to provide credible and sustainable solution to the scourge of maritime insecurity in Africa’s maritime domain.”
As a follow up measure, the NN was taking the lead in partnership with the International Quality and Productivity Centre, IQPC, to organise a defence and security conference.
He said the conference which is the first of its kind in Africa, was aimed at addressing the teething insecurity awareness issues as well as preferring ways and means of building infrastructure and capacity towards combating the scourge.
Tagged ‘Delivering maritime security to Africa’, Ibas said the conference would focus on anti-piracy and sea robbery operations, cost-effective OPV and naval systems acquisition, multilateral and innovative protection measures for offshore oil assets.
Information from This Day was used in this report.