Home NEWS Nigeria Gains 16,300 Square Kilometres Economically Viable Territory Without Going To War...

Nigeria Gains 16,300 Square Kilometres Economically Viable Territory Without Going To War – Experts 

Nigeria has, through a High Powered Presidential Committee that began research work since 2009, gained about 16,300 square kilometres Economically viable territory without resorting to the use of force.
”As it stands now, the area approved for Nigeria is about 16,300 square kilometres, which is about five times the size of Lagos State.’’
Presenting the report of the committee to President Bola Tinubu today, May 14, the Secretary to the committee, Surveyor Aliyu Omar said that interactions with various stakeholders and relevant body of the United Nations have now culminated in the approval for Nigeria to extend its continental shelf beyond 200M (200 nautical miles).
According to him, the official notification of the decision was conveyed to Nigeria by the UN Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in August 2023, shortly after President Tinubu assumed office.
Omar outlined the available options for Nigeria following the approval, saying: “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 (options), Nigeria will keep what has been approved.’’
The technical presentations were given by Professor Larry Awosika, a marine scientist and member of the Committee, and Surveyor Aliyu Omar, Secretary of the HPPC.
The experts have been involved in the project since Nigeria’s initial submission to extend its continental shelf to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in 2009.
They experts hinted that the UN has approved Nigeria’s submission, granting sovereignty over additional square kilometres of maritime territory.
”When the HPPC briefed former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2022 on the status of the project, the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) was still considering Nigeria’s submission and having technical interactions with the HPPC.”
This was even as Professor Awosika explained that the approval came after years of meticulous scientific research on geophysics, geology, geography and diplomatic efforts, which solidified Nigeria’s legal rights over a vast expanse of seabed and subsoil beyond its traditional territorial waters.
Professor Awosika highlighted the economic potential of the newly acquired territory, which includes hydrocarbons, gas, solid minerals, and a wide variety of sedentary species.
He, however, cautioned against total disclosure of sensitive data acquired during surveys, noting that this will jeopardize confidentiality as Nigeria is expected to monetize the information to recover project expenses.
Receiving the technical report, President Tinubu commended the committee members for a thorough job they have done on the project.
He recalled how former President Buhari had briefed him on the importance of the project.
”At COP28 in Dubai, I also exchanged views with President Lula of Brazil on the need for collaboration within our economic and maritime boundaries.
”Today, it is a great honour for me to receive this report. I have listened attentively to this very specialized report, and I know it took a whole lot of effort to get to this stage.
”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.
”We lost nothing but have gained great benefits for Nigeria. We will pursue the best option for the country,” the President said.

Leave a Reply