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1.1       Background of the Study

Countries with small populations and higher levels of development may cope with globalization better, but they cannot afford to opt out of the mainstream forces that are shaping the world. There is, however, no doubt that economic and socio-political discontentment leads to existential discontent for populations who feel that they are marginalized either as individuals in their own societies or as nations unable to cope with the economic crises (Saighal, 2003). ICT is spearheading the current stage of globalization, which is proceeding further with fragmentation of the social state, and national governance, with wider consequences for national, regional and international security matters. Hence, the resurgence of the phenomenon of maritime piracy in contemporary Africa, the consequence of which negatively impacts on the continent’s rubrics, fabrics and ramifications of security: economic, social, political, commercial, energy, environmental, humanitarian, investments, developmental, revenue, etc, is the stepchild of both local and global explanations, and dimensions which calls for urgent attention.

The development and application of risk assessment and management techniques to maritime security must take into account the complex regulatory and operational context in which the maritime industry operates. The purpose here is not to propose new security-risk assessment models, but rather to point out some of the deficiencies of the existing ones in the broader perspective of the supply chain approach to maritime security. More specifically, the paper introduces an initial security risk assessment and management framework capable of reflecting the logistics scope of transport networks. The focus is to shift the subject of maritime security from the current agenda of facility-security to an extended framework of supply chain security. The document also reviews existing approaches to measuring transport security compliance costs and funding schemes adopted by industry and governments in order to finance the costs of security regulations. While advocating the adoption of any particular security measure is not within the scope of this analysis, the paper nevertheless not only argues that the new international security regulatory framework is a challenge, but also an opportunity to be seized. Although the new security requirements impose an additional regulatory burden on all concerned parties, security-driven business practices and operational procedures have the potential of improving efficiency and trade competitiveness.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

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 on land 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 1999. 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 (Uadiale and Yonmo, 2010a).

1.3   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.

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