It was reportedly stated on the sidelines of the Safety At Sea Conference, that if Navies in the region can’t take all measures to provide security to ships then private companies should be allowed to do so.
Following on from these comments, Michael Wingate, CEO of ARC – a management company that offers full operational support with specialist expertise in maritime security in West Africa – has praised the industry for raising the issue, and believes that shipping needs to act in support of the provision of security in the region.
Mr Wingate said: “I agree with the comments made, that we need to look at other alternatives to ensure the safety of ships in West Africa. The cost of the provision of security is being driven down by security companies competing for business, the shipping industry is going through a difficult period and then you have the added factor of the cost also being driven down by shipping companies, which ultimately means a lack of investment in security at a time when the industry is demanding exactly that.”
“We are all responsible for the environment in which we operate and it is important that this is a collective effort across the shipping industry. Ultimately no one has the money to provide security to shipping. The security sector needs shipping to build long-term partnerships with relevant companies to enhance security provision within the region.”
West Africa has seen an increasing number of security companies expand their operations to West Africa following the official reduction of the High Risk Area (HRA) off East Africa in December 2015.
This has resulted in fierce competition between businesses trying to offer shipping companies the most competitive prices to gain a foothold in a new area of operation, which has had a pressing effect on the local businesses and the Navies.
With four years’ experience of maritime operations in West Africa with roots in security, ARC was set up to offer shipping companies in West Africa an alternative. By diversifying its business it is able to offer full operational support and logistic services, shipping agency support, and a variety of brokerage services in support of local businesses and the authorities in the region.