1.1 Background of the Study

Africa’s maritime spaces host a growing number of threats that challenge both Africa and the global community. Narcotraffickers now move an estimated 50–60 tons of cocaine every year through West Africa to Europe (Andre, 2017). More than 1,000 hostages were seized in 218 piracy attacks off of East Africa in 2018—double the number of incidents in 2018.Armed robberies of local and international vessels in Nigerian waterscontinue to be a challenge and analysts expect increasing numbers of kidnappings at sea in 2011. Illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing is estimated to cost sub-Saharan Africa about $1 billion annually, the catch from which floods international markets, depresses prices, and discourages legal and environmentally sustainable practices around the world. Attacks on the oil sector in Nigeria have costbillions of dollars in lost revenue and repairs, helped destabilize prices globally, and contributed to an environmental disaster along Nigeria’s coast caused by 546 million gallons of spilled oil (Adam, 2010)

Storm fronts and hurricanes such as Isabel (2013), Ivan (2014), Katrina (2015), and Ike (2018) have caused extensive flooding and the sinking of hundreds of marine craft in Africa and billions of dollars in damage in the Caribbean and North America. Moreover, Africa’s $1 trillion per annum maritime economy (representing 90 percent of African commerce) is infested with illegal trafficking. This includes a multibillion dollar black market in military arms, illegally logged forest products that represent as much as 70 percent of African timber harvests, and counterfeit medications that account for up to 50 percent of all sales on the African continent (Augustus, 2019). 

Maritime Security is the grouping of preventive and responsive actions to guard the maritime sphere against threats and intended illegitimate acts (Feldt, Roeli, and Thiele, 2013). The maritime domain’s worth for states can be designated in terms of its natural assets, its importance for transport and trade, power forecast and defence, and the maritime atmosphere’s intrinsic value (Lundqvist, 2013). Thus, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the sea (UNCLOS) was established as a basic legal instrument for oceanic affairs as an offer of corollary rights for coastal states to ensure amongst others, sustainable use and defence of the marine environment and to guarantee the security of sea lines of communication (Jesus, 2013).In recent years, the issue of maritime security has become a major concern on the international maritime agenda. In fact, maritime security dates back to early maritime history under the themes of piracy and cargo theft. The issue has also included stowaways, people and drug trafficking. There have been growing fears that terrorists can also use ships or their cargo as weapons to attack vulnerable points in the maritime chain just as aircraft were used in the terrorist attack in the United States. Terrorism, thus, becomes the new dimension of maritime security

Shipping has been the most economical means of transportation since antiquity and today it is also one of the biggest means of transportation (Mitsatsos, 2015; Mortensen & Rasmussen, 2013). In a true sense shipping is the only international industry that has made globalization possible (Boutilier, 2015; Insall, 2013). Statistics indicates that 90% of the world trade (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 2018) is carried by 50,5251 ships registered in about 150 countries, manned by 466,000 officers and 721,000 ratings2 (Chamberlain, 2018). Human quests for achieving greater efficiencies have made the shipping industry sophisticated, and ships more efficient and hi-tech. The maritime industry has been growing at a fast pace ("Shipping and World Trade : Key facts") and this boom is expected to continue due to globalization, increased economic liberalization and strong, sustainable growth in Indian, Chinese and other developing countries’ economy (Chellaram, 2014; DeSimone, 2018). UNCTAD reported a growth of 8.5% at the beginning of 2007 and a corresponding expansion of the merchant fleet to 1.04 billion dead weight tonnage (UNCTAD, 2017). Today the shipping industry has assumed an international character not only because it carries every kind of cargo, but also since the crew that man the ships belong to virtually from every nationality (Sklet, 2016). If the industry has been growing, so have the perils at sea. 

Development has been accompanied by two major pathogenic, namely piracy and armed robbery, and maritime terrorism. As shipping grew and became more sophisticated year after year,these pathogenic also became stronger and more complicated. The maritime industry faces varying levels of threats from different maritime crimes such as piracy, armed robbery, high jacking, stowaways, illegal migrants, narcotics, arms smuggling, fraud and others (Kanev, 2015). The scope of the dissertation has been limited to Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships, and Maritime Terrorism. The International Maritime Organization was formed to facilitate technical assistance for safety and protecting the maritime environment through its instruments. However, during the 2010s and 2010s, maritime security started to be included in its day to day working (Hesse, 2013). Hence, the study tends to examine the deployment of technology in maritime security: A survey of its development and application.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

More recently, African initiatives to encourage wider regional and international approaches to tackle maritime insecurity have taken a new dimension. The meeting of Heads of States of three key regional organisations in the Gulf of Guinea (Economic Community of Central African States), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Gulf of Guinea States (GGC) on 24 and 25 June 2013 at Yaoundé in Cameroon adopted the “Code of Conduct on the Prevention and the Suppression on Acts of Piracy, Armed Robbery against Ships and other Illicit Activities carried out at sea in Central and West Africa” (2013).

Maritime security is, indeed, a quandary (Uadiale and Yonmo, 2010a). The disintegration of central government authority, the lack of maritime security has, therefore, become a grave problem. The Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea are thus symbols of “the few cases in Africa where security onland have spilled over and affected maritime security severely”. 

The lack of maritime security in the region and the fact that it was not possible to enforce the law and maintain good order at sea, threatened maritime communication, maritime sovereignty and stimulated piracy. While much of the insecurity mid-wifed, piracy of the Somalia coast stems from the collapse of governance, and law and order in Somalia, in the Gulf of Guinea, the situation is somewhat different. Maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is more directly politically driven. In Nigeria, politics onland directly result in offshore actions, causing the hub of insecurity onland in the Niger Delta region to spill into the Gulf of Guinea to promote bad order at sea. According to the maritime watchdog – the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the waters of Nigeria are now the second most dangerous in the world, next to Somalia.The proliferation of piracy in the West African region has been of concern amongst government and the oil industry since 2018. With militant groups turning pirates in the Niger Delta, claiming that they are sabotaging the oil industry for political purposes in protest of the mismanagement of Nigeria’s oil wealth. However, these political grievances are increasingly taking on a criminal nature.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to examine the deployment of technology in maritime security: A survey of its development and application. Specific objectives include;

i. To evaluate the significance of technology to maritime security: its development and application

ii. To evaluate the effective and optimal utilization of these technologies can facilitate in fostering maritime security manifold.

iii. To find out possible challenges and solutions of technology to maritime security: its development and application.

1.4 Research Questions

i. What is thesignificance of technology to maritime security: its development and application?

ii. What is the effectiveness and optimal utilization of technologies to facilitate fostering maritime security manifold?

iii. What are the possible challenges and solutions of technology to maritime security: its development and application?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis I

H0: There is no significance of technology to maritime security: its development and application

H1: There is asignificance of technology to maritime security: its development and application

Hypothesis II

H0: There is no effectiveness and optimal utilization of technologies to facilitate fostering maritime security manifold

H1: There is aneffectiveness and optimal utilization of technologies to facilitate fostering maritime security manifold

1.6 Significance of the Study

Information Communication Technology (ICT) refers to several forms of information exchange between two or more devices like computers, mobile PDAs and hi-tech devices through which any of the several methods of interconnection, principally through the Internet can be initiated to perform a defined task. These technologies provide speedy, inexpensive, secure and convenient means of communication.

Therefore, in developing countries Nigeria precisely, the impact of ICT in the maritime sector for maritime operations and security cannot be over emphasized.It is as a result of this that this research study is determined to assess the impact of ICT on security of Maritime operations

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study is on the deployment of technology in maritime security: A survey of its development and application.

This work is an ample exploration undertaken based on a survey of evidences on the fundamental theme of this research.Nigerian Navy and National Defence College (NDC) Nigeria which hosts maritime researchers like Dr. Freedom Onuoha who has been a voice on International and local Maritime security issue

1.8 Limitations of the study

The researcher is a student and therefore has limited time as well as resources in covering extensive literature available in conducting this research. Information provided by the researcher may not hold true for all businesses or organizations but is restricted to the selected organization used as a study in this research especially in the locality where this study is being conducted. 

The demanding schedule of respondents at work made it very difficult getting the respondents to participate in the survey. As a result, retrieving copies of questionnaire in timely fashion was very challenging. 

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

Finally, the researcher is restricted only to the evidence provided by the participants in the research and therefore cannot determine the reliability and accuracy of the information provided.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Maritime: This is connected with the sea, especially in relation to seaborne trade or naval matters.

Security: This refers to protection of a person, building, organization, or country against threats.

Information and Communications Technology: This refers to an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications


Adam Nossiter, “Far From Gulf, A Spill Scourge 5 Decades Old,” The New York Times, June 16, 2010

Andre Maria Costa, “Africa Under Attack: Drug Trafficking Has Acquired a Whole New Dimension,” Address Delivered Before the U.N. Security Council, December 8, 2017

Augustus Vogel, Navies versus Coast Guards: Defining the Roles of African Maritime Security Forces, ACSS Africa Security Brief No. 2 (Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, December 2019), 2

Boutilier, J. (Ed.). (2015). The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: The Global Maritime Outlook 2004. Singapore: Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Block S4, Level B4, Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798.

Chamberlain, G. (2018). Pirate attacks around the world rise by 20pc. Retrieved May 24,,2018, from the World Wide Web http//

Chellaram, S. L. (2014). Globalisation and the shipping business- a shipowner's perspective. BIMCO Review, 28-31.

DeSimone, R. (2018). Globalization Keeps Future Bright for Shipping. Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, 16.

Hesse, H. (2017). A briefing on maritime/coastal security. In M. Q. Mejia & J. Xu (Eds.), Proceedings of the International symposium for Coastal Zone Piracy and Other Unlawful Acts at Sea (pp. 189-197). Malmö: WMU Publications

Insall, C. (2013). Recent developments in communications and safety requirements for ship operators via satellite. Bimco Review, 215-219.

Kanev, D. (Ed.). (2015). Seaborne trade effects of international terrorism and effectiveness of the anti-terrorist policy. UK: WIT Press, Ashurst Lodge, Ashurst, Southampton, SO40 7AA.

Mitsatsos, D. C. (2015). An industry perspective on ISPS Code implementation. In M. Q. Mejia (Ed.), Proceedings of the International symposium for Contemporary Issues in Maritime Security (pp. 265-275). Malmö, Sweden: WMU Publications

Mortensen, N. B., & Rasmussen, P. L. (2013). Substandard shipping - the curse of modern shipping. Bimco Review, 198-203.

Pirate Attacks Increase in 2018,” The Maritime Executive, December 30, 2010.

Richardson, M. (2014). A Time Bomb for Global Trade. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 30 Heng Terrace, Pasir Panjang.

Sklet, S. (2016). Safety barriers: Definition, classification, and performance Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries Volume 19(Issue 5), Pages 494- 506.

UNCTAD. (2017). Review of Maritime Transport 2017.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. (2018). Version]. UNCTAD Transport Newsletter, 28. Retrieved August 14, 2018 from the World Wide Web: http//www.unctadorg/en/docs/sdtetlbmisc20181_en.pdf.



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