NPA To Procure Vessel Tracking System For Security In Waters

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  • Nigerian Ports Authority revealed that rogue vessels used for stealing crude oil in the Niger Delta turn off their AIS to evade detection.
  • The NPA helmsman also disclosed that the authority generated N172.28 billion in revenue in the first half of 2022.

How rogue ships become invisible in Nigerian waters, by NPA, reports The Guardian.

The issue

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) disclosed that scamp vessels used for extorting crude oil in the Niger Delta turn off their Automatic Identification System (AIS) to escape detection and search by officials.

NPA Managing Director, Mohammed Koko explained that the ships go off the radar and escape arrest by switching off their onboard tracking system.

He said that NPA has begun a procedure that would end in the procurement of a Vessel Tracking Service (VTS), to help administrations recognize, discover, and regulate all ships in the nation’s waters.

Background

For about 10 years, the NPA had been trying to acquire the system.  He expressed optimism that the device could be furnished before the end of the President Muhammadu Buhari government.

The NPA helmsman also disclosed that the authority generated N172.28 billion in revenue in the first half of 2022

Major ports along the Eastern waterways are Calabar, Port Harcourt, Onne, and Warri.

Details

He explained: “The intelligence persons bring in vessels to steal crude; one of the things they do is shut down the AIS. This is what is needed in terms of transmission, for you to know when the vessels come in and the location they go to.”

Koko lamented the continuous theft of buoys worth millions of naira. According to him, it has made navigation riskier and dissuaded international cargo ships from using Nigeria’s eastern maritime corridor.

He said each of the buoys, which serve as navigational route signs, cost between N12 million and N20 million, and that about 25 of this safety equipment has been stolen from Nigerian waters in the year 2022 alone.

The absence of buoys put ships in danger of running aground. As a result, many foreign ship captains circumvent specific areas of the waterways which diminishes revenue at the involved ports.

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Source: The Guardian

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