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U.N Grants Nigeria Expanded Maritime Territory with a 20-Nautical-Mile Extension

December 19, 2023

Photo Credit: Nairametrics 


In a historic move, the United Nations, through the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), has granted Nigeria an extension of its seaward continental boundaries, stretching from 200 to 220 Nautical miles. This significant development was revealed in an official statement by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), signed by its Assistant Director of Public Relations.

According to the announcement, Nigeria’s submission to the UN CLCS and subsequent approval by Chairman Adnan Rashid Nasser Al-Azri paved the way for this expansion. The extension holds profound implications, allowing Nigeria to redraw its territorial map in the Gulf of Guinea and gain rights to exploit the abundant carbon and marine resources in the area.

Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR, expressed his appreciation for the UN’s decision, emphasizing the potential economic benefits. He stated, ‘To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time the United Nations has ever approved additional maritime territory for Nigeria. We welcome this development, as it would boost our economic fortunes considerably.’

The statement further outlined that the continental shelf comprises the seabed and subsoil of submarine areas extending beyond the territorial sea. This expansion aligns with the administration of President Tinubu’s focus on harnessing the marine economy, leading to the establishment of the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.

In October, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Caroline Wura-ola Adepoju, highlighted the potential of the Marine and Blue Economy to generate around 5 trillion for the country. Additionally, the Director-General of NIMASA projected that the sector could create approximately 350 million jobs.

As defined by the UN, the ‘blue economy’ refers to the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth while preserving the health of ocean systems. This groundbreaking extension sets the stage for Nigeria to capitalize on its marine resources, opening up new avenues for economic growth and job creation.”


Credit: Nairametrics

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