Maritime Security and Nigeria’s Economic Development: A Synopsis
As a developing coastal state, Nigeria depends on the maritime environment for her economic development. Nigeria derives over 90 percent of her petroleum and gas, most of which are located offshore and near shore. The living resources of the sea are very important sources of protein for the teeming population and for other commercial purposes. Thus, Nigeria’s economy depends not only on seaborne activities but seaborne trade and so securing sea lanes of communication is a sine qua non for Nigeria’s economic development. This makes maritime security a necessary aspect of security in Nigeria. Maritime security reflects the safety and security, and freedom from threat to all human activities within the maritime domain. This paper provides a theoretical and practical synopsis of the various components of maritime security from the perspective of the ‘risk equation,’ in relation to how maritime insecurity negates economic development in Nigeria. This is done through qualitative content analysis of reviewed literature. The paper concludes that there is an over-polarization of maritime security issues into multilayered forms and this tend to deny the nation of the effectiveness required. To improve maritime security, therefore, there is need to for a holistic approach that will harmonise separate security matters into an integrated form in order to surmount the number of risks involved in the existing multilayered approach. In the same light maritime security cannot be handled within the framework and euphoria of freedoms and democratic ethos unless the country evolves a comprehensive national ocean policy. Keywords: Maritime security, Multi-layered approach, Maritime domain, Shore- based, Land-based, Gulf of Guinea.