Amid rise in pirate attacks and armed robbery incidents in Nigeria and the larger Gulf of Guinea region, manning costs have climbed by 6.2 per cent in 2020 compared to last year’s 1.3 per cent.
Also, Protection and Indemnity (P&I) cover costs for ships have jumped 4.5 per cent in the insurance market as underwriters have to charge more to cover vessels transiting the region.
It has become mandatory for ship owners to obtain insurer approval before they could enter the West African waters. Similarly, it was gathered that disruption in supplies and labour caused by the pandemic and piracy also pushed up the cost of dry-docking ship, spare parts and store supplies by five per cent in 2020.
According to new research by shipping consultancy firm, Drewry, average daily operating costs across the 47 different ship types and sizes have jumped 4.5 per cent in 2020, compared to increase of 2per cent last year. Worried by the huge spending on ships and cargoes coming into the country’s ports, the Port Consultative Council (PCC) said that there would be further increase in insurance premium on Nigerian bound cargoes if urgent measures are not taken to improve maritime security in the region.
The Chairman of the council, Otunba Kunle Folarin, who was worried over the 40 per cent increase in piracy in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea in the first nine months of the year, said in Lagos that the high rate of piracy and armed robbery in Nigerian territorial waters was a serious matter people are playing down.
Folarin noted: “This issue may prevent Nigeria from secouncuring the Category C seat at the next International Maritime Organisation (IMO) election. It is an uphill task for us to be on the White List unless the international communities are seeing us active, reducing if not able to wipe off the attacks.”
He said that shipping companies had slammed surcharges on Nigeria-bound cargo