1Agbai Eke Agbai,2Eugene T. Aliegba, &3Muhammed Bello Baban’umma
1, 2&3Department of Political Science, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nasarawa State, Nigeria.
The nature of international maritime security threats in Nigeria coastal waters has huge implications for economic development of Rivers and Delta States because of the geostrategic position of the states in international trade. The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of international maritime security threats in Nigeria coastal waters affecting poverty and unemployment levels in Delta and Rivers States. This paper was built around the neo-functionalist integration theory of multilateralism paradigm at systemic level of analysis. The sample size of the study was 385 respondents drawn from a population of 9,925 people comprising of staff from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Police Force and Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency in Delta and Rivers States. The population of the study equally includes staff drawn from Togolese, Benin republic and Senegalese embassies Abuja as well as operators of shipping businesses, fishing groups and oil servicing firms in Warri, Port Harcourt, Oporoza and Bonny. Primary data were collected from close-ended and open-ended questionnaire and in-depth interview involving 15 experts. Also, data were collected from secondary source. Data from questionnaire were analysed using simple percentages and absolute frequencies, while data from in-depth interview were analysed using narrative analytic technique. Data from secondary source were analysed using relational-content analysis. Findings showed that the nature of international maritime security threats in Nigerian coastal waters hinders economic development of Delta and Rivers States and trans-border cooperation among littoral states as well as poverty alleviation in the coastal areas are among the strategies for mitigating international maritime security threats affecting economic development in Delta and Rivers States. Among other things, it was recommended that the littoral states should urgently form joint maritime security taskforce for eliminating all threats from the crimes hindering economic development of Delta and Rivers States.
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