Boundary Commission To Resolve Maritime Border Issues With Ghana, Others, Says Official

The National Boundary Commission (NBC) says it is poised to resolve the country’s maritime boundary issues with Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, and Sao Tome and Principe, to enhance good neighbourliness at the maritime level.

Director of internal boundary in the NBC, Dr Richard Oji, made this known in an interview on Sunday in Abuja.

Oji said the Commission had been doing a lot both internally and internationally on boundary issues.

“On Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea maritime boundary, we have worked over the years and found areas that have oil fields. We are trying to resolve the issues on contentious areas.

“We have discordant views but we are trying to find a way by which we can equitably share the border resources to benefit both countries on percentage terms,” Oji said.

On Sao Tome and Principe’s maritime boundary with Nigeria, Oji said that a Joint Development Zone had been created on a 60:40 sharing formula, to enable both countries benefit from the resources in the zone.

“This led to the establishment of a Joint Development Agency, with offices in Abuja, to facilitate collaboration in the area of oil exploration and Aqua Marine resources.

” It used to be on oil only agency, but now fishing and aqua marine resources have been added. We are equally coming together to find a way that will benefit both countries, “Oji said.

As for the Maritime boundary with Ghana, Oji explained that it may surprise a lot of people to hear that Nigeria and Ghana have a maritime boundary, which was made possible by the UN and the international Law of the Sea, that allows a country to move its boundary up to 200 nautical miles into the sea.

“So, because we have done that and Ghana had done same, we met somewhere 200 miles into the sea and that is why we have a maritime boundary with Ghana”, he said, adding that the two countries had undertaken joint efforts on their common boundaries into the sea, to ensure harmonious relationship on resources and other marine issues.