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Improvement in maritime service provision, removal of restriction in the importation of goods and services, the elimination of entry barriers have provide an incentive for private sector involvement in the marine transport market. However there is arising a challenge to improve the level of security they providing in order to ensure the safety of port users. The general objective of the study was to assess marine security strategies and the management of security challenges in Nigerian shipping sectors and method used in collecting required information for the study was questionnaire. The study recommended that concerted efforts aimed at increasing and equipping security agencies responsible for policing territorial waters should be the major concern of the government and other stakeholders in the maritime sector.




1.1 Background Information

The freedom from danger, care intimidation, apprehension, the feeling or assurance of safety, peace of mind or absence of fear, and the certainty or assurance of the good life or welfare – constitutes one of the fundamental objectives and indeed the foremost responsibility of every government and the state. In Nigeria, the constitution unequivocally spelt out as a fundamental objective and directive principle of state policy that “the security and welfare of the people (of Nigeria) shall be the primary purpose of government” (Section 14 (2) (b) Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999). Nigeria in recent times has witnessed an unprecedented level of insecurity. No wonder national security has become an issue for government, prompting huge allocation of the national budget to security. According to Azazi (2011), in order to check the crime rate in Nigeria, the federal government has embarked on criminalization of terrorism by passing the anti-terrorism Act in 2011, installation of computer-based Closed Circuit Television cameras (CCTV) in some parts of the country, enhancement of surveillance as well as investigation of criminal related offences, heightening of physical security measures around the country aimed at determining or disrupting potential attacks, strengthening of security agencies through the provision of security facilities and the development and broadcast of security tips in mass media. Despite these efforts, the level of insecurity in Nigeria is still high and the country has been consistently ranked low in the Global Peace Index (GPI, 2012), signifying poor state of insecurity in the country as indicated.

The term security has been used to mean protection against or safety from a future risk of severe deprivation, injury or death and requires rules, order and impartial adjudication and application. Security according to Achumba, Ighomereho & Akpo-Robaro (2013) refers to a situation that exists as a result of the establishment of measure for the protecting of persons, information and property against hostile persons, influences and actions. It is the existence of conditions within which people in a society can go about their normal daily activities without any threat to their lives or properties. It embraces all measures designed to protect and safeguard the citizenry and the resources of individuals, groups, businesses and the nation against sabotage or violent occurrence (Achumbo et al, 2013). Security is the protection against all forms of harm whether physical, economic or psychological. It is however argued that security may not be absence of threats or security issues but the ability to rise to the challenges posed by threats with expediency and expertise. Security cannot therefore exist without provision for national security. Aggressive and repressive states can be major sources of human insecurity and a greater source of human suffering.

National security is concerned about those governmental institutions that seek to ensure the physical protection and safety of their citizens, their equal access to the law and protection of from abuse. There are two sets of government systems and institutions concerned with national security. The first component consists of the traditional instruments of national security, namely: the criminal justice system (police, justice and correctional services/prisons) the military and the intelligence community. The second and more important, relates to the nature of governance, its institutions and rules, norms and values that underpin it – as well as the efficacy thereof (Thamos, 2008).

Over the past two decades, there has been a surge in international concerns about maritime safety and security, with particular attention to the danger that insecurity on the seas pose to global commerce, peace and stability (Ukeje & Mvomo-Ela, 2013). This increased interest has, in turn, coalesced around the need to reflect upon and critically rethink conventional wisdom as it relates to the geopolitics of the seas, and to understand how such feeds into existing policies and actions at the national, regional, continental and global levels.

Nigeria is indeed one of the greatest maritime nations of the world; this is confirmed by both the local maritime operators and foreign maritime operators. Ports are supposed to be security zones and policed as such to prevents crimes mainly theft, smuggling among sabotage attacks, stowaway. Consequently, ports and waterways in most states in Nigeria particularly in the Niger Delta region  suffer from a substantial amount of maritime criminal activities, ranging from illegal fishing, to robbery and militant activities against commercial assets. In Nigeria, piracy and maritime militant activities are particularly prevalent in the waters and around the coast of the Niger Delta. It ranges from poaching and robbery especially in the waters off Lagos and within its ports, to attacks on ship and offshore facilities and the hijacking of vessels for ransom notably in the area near the Niger Delta.

In view of this, Nincic (2009) avers that maritime insecurity in Africa and in Nigeria waters in particular, has grown at a disturbing rate and threatens the global flow of goods and services across the world’s shipping lines. To Potgieter (2009), this portrays a pervasive maritime insecurity and a threat to economic growth in Africa. Hence, this study intends to assess marine security strategies and the management of security challenges in Nigerian shipping sector.

1.2 Statement of Problem

There are many security agents both conventional  recognized law enforcement agents and the fadeless ones purporting to be government officials seeing to the general security of our ports These notwithstanding the ports are being easily accessible to a multitude of hoodlums now popularly known as “what rats” and syndicates of other malefactors actors who have made the ports their homes. Any degree of crimes can now be perpetrated by these hoodlums acting in cohorts with some of the security agents, and port official. Crewmembers going ashore are sometimes violently attacked and robbed within and outside the ports.

If Nigeria must grow both politically and economically, there are needs for an efficient and effective security system for safety of cargoes id ship including the crews. There should be both the activities of the appropriate authority and the private sectors to ensure that security at the port be maintained. Hence, the importance of this study.


1.3 Research Objectives

The main objective of this study was to assess marine security strategies and the management of security challenges in Nigerian shipping sectors. Other objectives include:

  1. To assess the adequacy of security measures and strategies provided to maritime respondents at Apapa Port, Lagos State.
  2. To suggest possible measures to be taken of overcome the challenges associated with maritime port users at Apapa Port, Lagos State.


1.4 Research Question

This study was guided by the following research questions

  1. Are the security measures and strategies provided to maritime port users are adequate in Apapa Port?
  2. What are measures to be taken to overcome/avoid the challenges facing maritime port users transport at Apapa port?


1.5   Significance of the Study

The findings and recommendations of the study was help to understand the ability and knowledge of regulatory Authorities in improving the security level  at Apapa Port, Lagos State.

Indeed the Study was help to propose the possible measures to be taken so as to avoid the challenges and problem to improve port safety and efficiency.


1.6 Organization of the Study

The study was consist of five chapters which are chapter one, chapter two and chapter three, chapter four and chapter five .Chapter one (introduction of the study) gives the background information, statement of the problem, Research objectives, Significance of the study, Chapter two  consists of literature review and  research gaps observed in the study. Chapter three consists methodology of the research, chapter four consists data processing, analysis and presentation and chapter five consists conclusion and recommendation.


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