President Commends Team as Nigeria Extends Maritime Borders

By Olaide Ajibola, JKNMedia Reporter

PRESIDENT BOLA Tinubu has applauded the diligent efforts of the expert team behind Nigeria’s Extended Continental Shelf Project during the reception of the report by the High-Powered Presidential Committee (HPPC) in Abuja.

Led by Professor Larry Awosika and Surveyor Aliyu Omar, he noted that the committee has been steadfast in advancing Nigeria’s maritime boundaries in alignment with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), 1982.

Expressing gratitude on Tuesday, President Tinubu listened to technical presentations by marine scientist Professor Larry Awosika and Surveyor Aliyu Omar, Secretary of the HPPC.

The experts have been instrumental in the project since Nigeria’s initial submission to extend its continental shelf to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in 2009.

The committee informed the President of the UN’s approval of Nigeria’s submission, granting sovereignty over additional square kilometers of maritime territory. Surveyor Omar disclosed that the approved area for Nigeria encompasses approximately 16,300 square kilometers, significantly expanding the nation’s maritime jurisdiction.

The official notification of the decision was conveyed to Nigeria by the UN Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in August 2023, shortly after President Tinubu assumed office.

Surveyor Omar outlined the available options for Nigeria following the approval, emphasizing that regardless of the chosen option, Nigeria will retain the approved territory.

Professor Awosika elaborated on the extensive scientific research and diplomatic efforts that underpinned the approval, highlighting Nigeria’s legal rights over a vast expanse of seabed and subsoil.

He emphasized the economic potential of the newly acquired territory, including hydrocarbons, gas, solid minerals, and various sedentary species.

President Tinubu thanked the expert team for their dedication, stressing the significance of the achievement for Nigeria’s economic and strategic interests while stressing the importance of collaboration, referencing discussions with former President Buhari and President Lula of Brazil at COP28 in Dubai.

In attendance were Ambassador Hassan Tukur, Chairman of the HPPC; Chief of Staff to the President, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola.

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