OIL GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA AND MARITIME SECURITY IN THE GULF OF GUINEA, 2010-2014

OIL GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA AND MARITIME SECURITY IN THE GULF OF GUINEA, 2010-2014

ABSTRACT

This study examined the relationship between the contradictions of rentier oil governance in Nigeria and their implications for maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG). Specifically, the study examined the effect of the security leakages in the management of oil resources in Nigeria; the proliferation of armed groups’ protests over mismanagement of oil rent in Nigeria; as well as the marginr of oil revenue in relation to fishing in Nigeria, on the sustenance of illegal oil trade, the rise of illicit arms trade and use; and the ineffective control of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing in the Gulf of Guinea respectively. Thus, the central questions of this study are: Do security leakages in the management of oil resources in Nigeria account for the sustenance of illegal oil trade in the Gulf of Guinea? Does the proliferation of violent oil rent protests in Nigeria lead to the rise of illicit arms trade and use in the Gulf of Guinea? Was the prioritization of oil revenue in Nigeria implicated in the ineffective control of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing in the Gulf of Guinea? The theory of the Rentier state was adopted as our framework of analysis and data was gathered through the documentary method of data collection. Our data analysis was based on qualitative descriptive analysis and the ex-post facto research design was adopted. The study found that security leakages in the management of oil resources in Nigeria in the form of complicities of oil marketers, Private Military Contractors (PMCs) and state security agents accounted for the sustenance of illegal oil trade in the Gulf of Guinea. The study also found out that proliferation of violent oil rent protests in Nigeria; owing to oil wealth deprivation, oil patronage conflicts and state repression of citizens’ agitation against oil wealth mismanagement, led to the rise of illicit arms trade and use in the Gulf of Guinea. Finally, the study found out that the prioritization of oil revenue in Nigeria as a result of the rentier character of oil resources management was implicated in the ineffective control of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing in the Gulf of Guinea. The implication of our findings is that the undemocratic nature of oil governance in Nigeria results in criminal alliance between aggrieved politicians and non-state actors, mostly organized militant groups to boost their primitive access to oil wealth. The study recommended the there is need to democratize oil resources management in Nigeria, as well as discourage non-state actors’ involvement in the regulation of oil and other maritime activities in the Gulf of Guinea.

KEYWORDS: Oil Governance, Maritime Security, Rentier State, Transnational Oil Crime