The publication Daily Trend reported yesterday that Nigerian Licensed Ship Chandlers Association President Dr. Martin Enebeli revealed that attacks on ships on the country’s waters have increased significantly due to over 10,000 seafarers left unemployed after the Nigerian Navy clamped down on local shipowners and killing their businesses.
Dr. Enebeli said more than 200 indigenous ships had been arrested by the Navy due to various reasons and, consequently, this had resulted in many Nigerian seafarers unemployed.
With many Nigerian seafarers unemployed, Dr. Enebeli said: “Human nature is such that would start to tilt towards survival, at that point, they can be called to do anything that is nefarious.
“I also have to tell you that, it is the connivance between the captains and these boys they call to come onboard vessels to steal. It is not easy for you to just go onboard and say you want to carry out pirate activities; most of these acts are in connivance with the crew onboard these vessels, especially foreign crews,” Dr. Enebeli said in an interview with Daily Trend.
To start addressing the situation, he called for registration of more barge operators to move containers and petroleum products to create more jobs for seafarers.
He said there are only 35 barge operators at present, excluding oil barges, which is too small for Nigeria with over 200 million population.
DR. Enebeli also blamed the many laws regulating Nigerian shipping and “too much bureaucracy” for the dire situation.