A Cyprus-based security firm, Diaplous Maritime Services, has announced a new Nigerian division offering private maritime security services – provided in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy.
According to Peter Cook, director of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, Nigeria's regulations for private maritime security contractors (PMSCs) require a different business model from the arrangement seen in the High Risk Area off Somalia.
In the High Risk Area, PMSCs provide ship operators with embarked private security teams, and typically take responsibility for the teams’ training, certification, arms and transportation. However, within the territorial waters of Nigeria, a security contractor may not provide private armed teams, Cook says. Instead, the contractor may provide private patrol vessels, which are then "crewed, flagged and armed by the Nigerian Navy [who] use Nigerian national Rules of Engagement" on for-hire ship escort missions arranged by the PMSCs.
Diaplous Maritime Services Nigeria says that its security escort vessels have seven to 10 Nigerian Navy servicemembers on board and are armed and equipped to deter emerging threats. The firm uses Damen FCS 3307 patrol boats, the same model recently delivered to Nigeria's Homeland Integrated Offshore Services Limited (HIOSL).
In addition, in cooperation with the Nigerian Navy, Diaplous offers armed embarked maritime security teams of four to eight members. For unarmed options, it can provide security consultants – Hellenic nationals or former Nigerian Navy officers – who are experienced in operating in the Gulf of Guinea security environment. And for personnel or executives on shore, Diaplous Nigeria also offers security services for travel throughout the country, including armed police escort.
Diaplous Maritime Services has offered services in the High Risk Area of the Indian Ocean since 2010, and it has accommodated clients’ needs around the world. It is certified by LQRA Greece to the maritime security management system standard ISO/PAS 28007.