Ship-owners under the Nigerian Ship-owners Association (NISA) have raised the alarm that the Bonny anchorage remains the most deadliest and insecure section along Nigerian waterways.
Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune in his office recently, Chairman of NISA, Mallam Aminu Umar stated that out of the fouranchorages that exist on Nigerian waterways, that is Lagos, Warri, Bonny and Calabar anchorages, Bonny remains the most dangerous for ships plying Nigeria’s waters.
According to Umar, “If you look at the four anchorages on our waters, which include Lagos, Warri, Bonny and Calabar, and you compare them to each other, you will notice that there has been a drop in the level of insecurity on the Lagos, Warri and Calabar anchorages.
“In this regard, I am talking about the Lagos anchorage which is being managed by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Navy. However, compared to other West African countries, the patrolling of the waterways by security boats is more than what we have at our anchorages. So ship owners want more patrolling of the Lagos, Warri and Calabar anchorages by security boats.
“For Bonny anchorage, no ship owner will dare drop anchor there because it is not secure, and is the most dangerous section of Nigeria’s waters. Ships can only reach Bonnyanchorage during day time. There are anchorages in Nigeria no ship dare call when it is night, and Bonny is number one of such anchorages.
“Any ship that berths at Bonnyanchorage during the day must leave before nightfall or risk its own safety. At Bonnyanchorages, ships don’t drop anchor because any ship that does that, does so at her own peril.”
When reminded that the NLNG is in Bonny, the NISA President stated that where the NLNG is located at Bonny is the Inner Anchorage.
“In Bonny, we have two anchorages, the Outeranchorage and the Inner anchorage. An anchorage is where a vessel will go and drop anchor before a Pilot comes to take the vessel inside the port. Inner anchorage at Bonny is already inside the Pilot district, so if you are in Inner anchorage of Bonny, you are already safe inside the port.
“NLNG is located at the Inner anchorage and that place is secure. But for the outeranchorage, no ship dare drops anchor because of its volatility with insecurity issues.
“NLNG themselves, whenever their vessel arrivesBonny, it does not wait at the Outer anchorage of Bonny. The vessel goes straight into the Inner anchorage.”