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Sun, May

Nigeria Added Over 16,000 New Territory

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The United Nations (UN) has approved Nigeria’s submission, granting sovereignty over additional square kilometers of maritime territory with about 16,300 square kilometers.


President Bola Tinubu received the report of the High Powered Presidential Committee, HPPC, on Nigeria’s extended continental shelf project, with a commendation to the team of experts who worked hard over the years to advance the project. 

The project aims to extend Nigeria’s maritime boundaries in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), 1982. 

The President expressed his appreciation in Abuja after listening to technical presentations by Professor Larry Awosika, a marine scientist and member of the committee, and Surveyor Aliyu Omar, Secretary of 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. 

The President says, “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.” 

“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,” Surveyor Omar told the president.’’ 

He added that 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. 

In his presentation, 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. 

Awosika highlights the economic potentials of the newly acquired territory to include hydrocarbons, gas, solid minerals, and wide variety of sedentary species. 

He 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.