The National Boundary Commission (NBC) said on Thursday that Nigeria’s Continental Shelf Extension Project was aimed at gaining for Nigeria an additional maritime territory of 104,000 kilometres.
Its Director General, Dr Muhammed Ahmad, made this known to State House correspondents in Abuja after he had briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the progress being made on the project and the challenges coming from the United Nations Commission on the Limits of Continental Shelf.
According to Ahmad, the additional 104,000 km Nigeria stands to gain from the project, represents about one-tenth of the existing land area of the country.
“Nigeria’s Extended Continental Shelf Project is a project that intends to gain for Nigeria an additional maritime territory of up to 104,000 kilometres, which is about one-tenth of the land area of the Federal Republic.
“We explained to him (President Buhari) the progress of the project and its challenges.
“The President was positive and he has given us marching orders to go ahead and work seriously to ensure that Nigeria succeeds in the venture.’’
Ahmad stated that the extension of the shelf will enable Nigeria to explore and exploit its seabed resources to enhance the country’s economy and facilitate peace and security in the Gulf of Guinea.
According to him, the project will promote Nigeria’s economic development and also enable the country to operate both economically and militarily beyond the 200 nautical miles up to 350 nautical miles into the sea.
On the boundary disputes between Nigeria and its neighbours, the director-general said that the boundary disputes Nigeria had with Cameroun, Chad, Niger Republic, and Benin had been resolved amicably.
He said that at the maritime level, Nigeria had been enjoying cordial working relationships with its maritime neighbours, including Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe.
“Our National Boundary Commission has done great, indeed very great in terms of inter-regional relationship with our immediate neighbours.
“You’ll find out that the problems between Nigeria and Cameroun have been sorted out; between Nigeria and Chad we have no problem; between Nigeria and Niger we have no problem; between Nigeria and Benin we have no problem.
“You’ll find out also that at the maritime level, we have had excellent working relationships with our maritime neighbours; Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe.’’
He further told state house correspondents that Nigeria had signed an agreement on cross-border cooperation and joint utilisation of maritime resources with Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe.