Security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea sub-region strategy for Nigeria
Iheme, Chuks Onwumere
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The Gulf of Guinea (GoG) sub-region has large deposits of hydrocarbons and other natural resources. There is now a stiff international competition among industrialized nations including the United States, some European countries, China, Japan, and India that are looking for new, safer, and more reliable sources of energy as a result of the Middle East crisis. Extra-regional competitions for oil, while boosting the economy of the sub-region have also exposed the area to increased security risks. Subregional resources and potential are presently being undermined by multifaceted domestic, sub-regional and international threats and vulnerabilities. These challenge the sub-regional states, including Nigeria, with limited capacity for maritime security. Assessment of sub-regional naval forces based on their Order of Battle, shows that most of the navies cannot police beyond their territorial waters. This study presents an integrated collective maritime security strategy for the sub-region. The strategy proposes measures to protect the maritime environment from unauthorized use and to develop member states' capabilities to deal with the emerging security threats. Additionally, it would encourage collaboration with extra-regional powers and oil majors in efforts to transform naval capabilities and improve interoperability to meet the challenges of the changing security threats within the sub-regional maritime domain.
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