An Appraisal of Nigeria’s Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019

22 Pages Posted: 14 May 2021 Last revised: 10 Jun 2021

Date Written: January 31, 2021


Piracy and armed robbery against ships within the Nigerian maritime domain have remained consistent over the past years and recurring in the new decade. In 2020, Nigeria had the highest number of pirate attacks in the world (as reported by International Chamber of Commerce-International Maritime Bureau (Piracy Reporting Centre). Under international treaties such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, State Parties are obligated to take necessary actions required to curtail piracy and maritime offences against ships. In line with this obligation and Nigeria’s aim to enhance its maritime security framework, Nigeria enacted the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Act 2019 (“SPMOA” or the “Act”). Unfortunately, despite the enactment of SPMOA, piracy attacks have persisted with several attacks already recorded in 2021 within Nigerian waters. This paper presents an overview of SPMOA, discusses effects of key provisions of the Act and concludes with some recommendations.

Keywords: Piracy, Maritime Offence, Nigeria, Maritime Security, NIMASA, ICC-IMB

JEL Classification: K14, K32

Suggested Citation

Emem, Theophilus, An Appraisal of Nigeria’s Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019 (January 31, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Theophilus Emem (Contact Author)

The Universal Residence Limited ( email )

7th Floor, Plot 1490, Samuel Ademulegun Street,
Central Business District, Abuja
07032596216 (Phone)

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