The Commissioner of Police, Western Ports command, Kayode Aderanti, has promised to put an end to the incessant pirate attacks that have crippled the businesses of Nigerian trawler owners.
Aderanti gave this assurance on Thursday during a courtesy visit to four fishing companies at the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) in Lagos as part of his familiarisation visit to port facilities in Lagos.
The fishing companies visited were Karflex Fisheries Limited, ORC Fishing and Processing Limited, Barnarly Fishing Company and Atlantic Shrimpers all located within phases one and two of KLT.
Aderanti said the marine police unit will support the Nigerian Trawler Owners Association (NITOA) in fighting their adversaries on the high seas even as he assured them of his command readiness to interface with the fishing companies and relevant government agencies to put an end to the incessant killing of seafarers and the stealing of commodities aboard vessels.
“We are aware of the fact that the fishing industry contributes greatly to the economic growth of this country. We know how many youths are engaged by the fishing sector and we will not allow the pirate to affect your business,” he said.
Aderanti, who expressed worries on how most of the fishing companies have closed shops due to pirate attacks on fishing vessels, assured the companies that the marine division of the police command would collaborate with the Nigerian Navy to see that attacks on fishing trawlers end.
“From what I have heard from all the fishing companies on the issue of piracy, the best we can do is to partner with the Navy through our marine section and to also ensure that we increase our visibility on the sea.
“What we need is the assurance from the government and I believe that the navy is the lead agency when it comes to the sea and I will make sure that I direct more of my officers to increase the visibility to ensure that fishing activities is covered on our waters.
“All the fishing companies I visited today are all talking about piracy and piracy alone and I have discovered that it is what we need to address at this point in time because most of the companies have actually relocated to neighbouring countries because of this, thereby causing a huge loss to our economy and country,” he said.