Nigeria is an independent North Atlantic coastal country with a number of littoral states along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Located on the west coast of Africa and the shores of the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria is within the tropics. It lies between 4 degrees north of the Equator on its southern part and 14 degrees on its northern part in tropical West Africa.
The eastern frontier of Nigeria stretches across almost 15 degrees east meridian, south of Lake Chad, its western frontier from north and south runs along 3 degrees east meridian. Nigeria is surrounded by French speaking West African countries. She is bordered on the west by the Republic of Benin, on the north by Niger Republic and on the east by part of Cameroon.
Nigeria covers a total area of 923,768 square kilometers with a land area of 910,000 square kilometers. She has a coastline of 853 kilometers and inland waterways totaling 8, 575 kilometers consisting largely of Rivers Niger and Benue as well as other smaller rivers and creeks.
Some of the key maritime claims of Nigeria include: continental shelf of 200meters to the depth of exploitation, a territorial waters of 20 nautical miles from the shoreline and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles from her territorial water. This, alongside with Nigeria’s stretch of coastline indicates clearly the vast maritime environment that subtends the Nigerian hinterland.
By the implication of her vast and active maritime environment, Nigeria is a member of most leading international, regional and sub-regional organizations concerned with maritime activities. Some of these key organizations includes: the International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Harbour Authority Commission (IHAC), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Transport -Workers Federation (ITF), Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) etc. Nigeria is equally involved in a number of multilateral framework dealing with maritime and trade related issues such as the General Agreement on Trade and Service (GATS), World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), etc.
As a coastal state, Nigeria’s external trade is carried largely by maritime traffic. Her main export trade includes crude oil and gas and this account for 95% of her total annual export trade; this underpins the high international tanker traffic into the country.
Location of MRCC and RSCs
Location of MRCC and RSCs
Nigeria has proposed six (6) locations for the establishment of MRCC and RSCs in order to have good coverage of its coastal waters. The MRCC in Lagos, also known as the RMRCC Lagos, has been established and commissioned. A Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC), collaboration between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has been established at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, so also are the Rescue Sub Centres slated for Oron and Lokoja. The ones that are yet to be established are the Bonny and Escravos RSCs.
See SAR Organisation Map at the bottom of this page.