Posted: February 9th, 2023

Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea with emphasis on Nigeria

Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea with emphasis on Nigeria.
Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea is a critical issue due to the high levels of piracy, illegal fishing, and other illicit activities that occur in the region. The Gulf of Guinea is a key shipping route for oil, gas, and other valuable resources, making it a prime target for criminal activity. This paper will focus on the maritime security challenges facing Nigeria, which is a major player in the Gulf of Guinea region.
The primary concerns in the Gulf of Guinea is piracy. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the number of pirate attacks in the region has been on the rise in recent years. In 2019, there were a total of 29 reported pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, with Nigeria accounting for the highest number of attacks (11). These attacks often involve the use of small boats and weapons, and the pirates typically target vessels carrying valuable cargo.
Another major concern in the Gulf of Guinea is illegal fishing. This activity not only depletes fish stocks, but it also undermines the livelihoods of local fishermen. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Gulf of Guinea is estimated to be worth $1.5 billion annually. In Nigeria, the problem is particularly acute, with the country losing an estimated $200 million per year due to IUU fishing.
To address these issues, Nigeria has implemented a number of measures to enhance maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. One key strategy has been the deployment of naval assets to the region. The Nigerian Navy has increased patrols in the Gulf of Guinea, with a focus on protecting key shipping lanes and monitoring for pirate activity. Additionally, the Nigerian government has established a Joint Task Force (JTF) to coordinate the efforts of various government agencies and military units in the fight against maritime crime.
Another strategy that has been implemented is the use of technology to enhance maritime surveillance. For example, Nigeria has installed a number of radar stations along its coast to monitor for suspicious activity. Furthermore, the Nigerian government has also been working to improve information sharing and coordination with other countries in the region, through the establishment of regional maritime security cooperation initiatives such as the Yaounde Code of Conduct and the Gulf of Guinea Commission.
In addition to these efforts, Nigeria has also been working to strengthen its legal framework for addressing maritime crime. The Nigerian government has been working to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and has also passed laws such as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Act, which provides a framework for addressing maritime security issues.
Despite these efforts, there are still significant challenges facing Nigeria and the wider Gulf of Guinea region in terms of maritime security. One major challenge is the lack of resources to effectively implement these strategies. For example, many of Nigeria’s naval assets are in poor condition and in need of repair or replacement. Additionally, the Nigerian Navy is understaffed and lacks the capacity to effectively patrol the large area of the Gulf of Guinea.
Another challenge is the lack of coordination and cooperation among the various government agencies and military units involved in maritime security. This can lead to duplication of effort and inefficiencies in the fight against maritime crime. Furthermore, the lack of cooperation and coordination among countries in the region can also hamper efforts to effectively address maritime security issues.
Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea is a critical issue with significant implications for the stability and prosperity of the region. Nigeria is a major player in the Gulf of Guinea, and the country faces a number of challenges in terms of piracy, illegal fishing, and other maritime security issues. While the Nigerian government has implemented a number of strategies to address

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