Nigeria extends maritime boundary by 16,300sqm

Nigeria extends maritime boundary by 16,300sqm


The United Nations (UN) has approved the extension of Nigeria’s maritime boundary by an additional 16,300 square kilometres.

Nigeria made submission for the extension in 2009 through the presidential committee on the country’s extended continental shelf project.

A member of the Committee, Larry Awosika, said the UN approval came after years of meticulous research on geophysics, geology and geography.

He said diplomacy also helped to solidify Nigeria’s legal rights over a vast expanse of seabed and subsoil beyond its traditional territorial waters.

Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday while presenting the approval report to President Bola Tinubu, the professor said the economic potentials of the newly acquired territory are vast, including increased investments in hydrocarbons, gas, solid minerals, and a wide variety of sedentary species.

The secretary of the committee, Aliyu Omar, said the new approved area is about five times the size of Lagos State.

Omar added that the official notification of the decision was conveyed to Nigeria by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in August 2023.

”The first option is to take the area gained and finalize the registration with the UN Secretary-General and close everything, meaning that we are satisfied with what we got. This will take at least one year.

”The second option is to take what we have right now, acquire more data, do a support write-up, and make a revised submission as recommended by CLCS for further consideration. This will take another four years.”Either way, Nigeria will keep what has been approved,” he said.

Tinubu lauded the achievement of the committee, saying it reflects Nigeria’s economic and strategic interests.

”I commend the team, and we must take advantage of this and invite you again to have a repeat of this knowledge exploration on geography, hydrography, and the marine life.

”Nigeria is grateful for the efforts that you put into gaining additional territory for the country without going to war. Some nations went to war, lost people and economic opportunities,” Tinubu said.

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