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Nigeria’s Deep Blue Project

President Muhammadu Buhari recently inaugurated a project designed to prevent illegal activities in Nigeria’s coastal waters and enforce maritime regulations. It also aims to prevent illegal activities on inland waterways. It’s being implemented by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency. Personnel have been hired from the navy, army, air force, police, and Department of State Services. The $195 million project is said to be the first integrated maritime security strategy for West and Central Africa. It’s designed to tackle piracy, sea robbery, and other crimes at sea in Nigerian waters and up to the Gulf of Guinea. The Gulf encompasses over 12 countries from Senegal to Angola. It’s a strategic maritime domain with huge natural resources, and provides a critical route for international shipping. Most studies, including mine, affirm that the root of maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea stems primarily from bad governance. Despite endowment with vast natural resources, most of the States parade some of the worst indices of human development. These include environmental devastation, high unemployment rates and widespread poverty generated by corruption and bad governance.