Maritime surveillance and enforcement privatisation galore in Nigeria: a compromise of state sovereignty

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Panamaline Books Distributors Limited
The freedom to participate in seaborne trade is one of the most vital engines motivating global economic progress and development in recent times. Coastlines, territorial waters, high seas and ports depend, to a large extent, on security in the world maritime domain. However, the serious threats posed to global order by the international terrorism, piracy, oil theft and bunkering, to mention but a few, have given rise to overriding and all important national security concerns among the port states. In response to these challenges, some states have increased their strategies with the establishment of maritime security enforcement forces such as the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in the United States, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Nigeria, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) in Malaysia, etc. to address the problem. Conversely, Nigerian government has changed the policy and firmed out enforcement and surveillance activities in the entire Nigerian maritime domain to a private security company. This aim of this paper is to investigate the issue of privatising enforcement and surveillance mechanisms in maritime sector with a view to determining the appropriateness or otherwise of such privatisation. It has been found that privatization of the enforcement and surveillance mechanisms in maritime sector is ill-intentioned and inherently inimical to good governance and likely to do the nation more harms than good. The paper concluded that the issue of maritime enforcement and surveillance goes beyond the activities of private security company, and besides, the policy usurps the constitutional powers of the legislature which established maritime security forces through the legislature. It therefore recommended that concession of maritime enforcement and surveillance to private security company should be revisited to ensure partial privatization rather than total privatization
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maritime, surveillance, enforcement, privatisation