A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

76 oil wells: Lawmakers task Jonathan on maritime boundaries

Okey Ndiribe & Emma Ovuakporie

06 July 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – FOLLOWING current dispute over 76 oil wells between Cross River and Akwa Ibom States, the House of Representatives, Thursday, asked President Goodluck Jonathan to convene a security meeting to review the status of Nigeria’s maritime boundaries.

Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Leo Ogor representing Isoko Federal Constituency of Delta State, under matters of urgent national importance, raised a motion on the “imminent threat to Nigeria’s maritime boundaries” caused by the maritime delineation drawn up and submitted to the Supreme Court by the National Boundary Commission, NBC, on the disputed oil wells.

Ogor noted that if NBC’s maritime delineation was allowed to stand, Nigeria would lose vital maritime territory, the size of a state, to other countries.

He said: “The movement or adjustment of the baseline inward for the demarcation of internal waters from the territorial sea as canvassed by NBC is in contravention of the International Court of Justice, ICJ, judgment that ceded Bakassi to Cameroon with the implication that internal waters of Nigeria will now become part of the territorial sea.”

According to Ogor, the present delineation by NBC compromises the territorial integrity and security of the country with grave implication as other countries will now have navigational rights over Nigeria’s territorial waters.

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  • I am certain that if oil wells hadn’t been in contention, neither Cross Rivers nor Akwa Ibom state would have been concerned about the actual boundaries. This calls to question the central focus of the Nigerian leadership – is it we the people or the revenue sources made available to government?