By Roland Ekama
The rising attack on ships at berth in the Lagos Ports may have prompted the need to secure the deck of many vessels calling at the ports with barbed wires to discourage attack from sea robbers. About seven vessels sighted by our correspondent had their decks guarded with the wire that is suspected to be electrified.
Investigation conducted by Business and Maritime West Africa revealed that vessels at berth no longer have security guards on board following government embargo on the use of private security.
A seafarer aboard a ship who preferred not to be named, said that there is apprehension among crew members. The seaman said even with the barbed wire, the fear of attack is still imminent as the system does not guarantee the level of safety the presence of armed guards could provide.
Reacting to the use of barbed wires, the immediate Lagos Zonal Vice Chairman, Port Facility Security Officers (PFSO), Dr. Zebulon Ikokide said the measure negates the International Ships and Ports facility Security (ISPS) code.
Ikokide stated that such measure cannot prevent criminals from attacking vessels at berth. He called on security agencies to procure more boats and patrol the waterways.
"Barbed wire doesn't prevent sea robbers from attacking a vessel at berth. Besides, the use is against the ISPS Code.
"Sea robbery attack on vessels at berth happens from the water front using local canoes.
"The only antidote is security agencies using boats to patrol the waterfront of all the berths to prevent robbers from gaining access to ships.
"Besides, the ISPS Code cannot allow you to introduce any measure that is not captured in the facilities' plans unless amended and approved by the Designated Authority - the DA, this time is NIMASA", he explained.