Nigerian Navy apprehends 75 stowaways in eight months

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Chief of Naval Staff, Emmanuel Ogalla

The Nigerian Navy has said it extracted 75 stowaways from vessels on Nigerian waterways between August 2023 and April 2024.

Director of Naval Information, Commodore Aiwuyor Augustine Adams-Aliu disclosed this in a Thursday statement.

The number of stowaways by month of extraction are: August 2023 – five; September 2023 – eight; October 2023 – 11; November 2023 – eight; December 2023 – 20; January 2024 – three; February 2024 – four; March 2024 – 11; and April 2024 – four.

All the stowaways were extracted on vessels at the Lagos Fairway Buoy and Lagos Channel, the Navy said.

“The Nigerian Navy is concerned by the upsurge in cases of stowaways in Nigerian waters.

“For clarity, the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) defines a stowaway as someone who is secreted on a ship, or in cargo without the consent of the shipowners or the master or any other responsible person.

“Migration as a stowaway is illegal, dangerous and is considered a security threat to shipowners,” the statement read in part.

The Naval spokesman said that in line with the strategic directive of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, the Navy deployed advanced Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) equipment to vector Quick Response Teams (QRT) to all parts of Nigeria’s territorial waters.

This, he said, led to the apprehending of the 75 stowaways in eight months.

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