The Senate, yesterday, invited the United Nations Resident Team in Nigeria and the Nigeria Boundary Commission to brief it on the status of Nigeria’s claim of an extended continental shelf.
The upper legislative chamber also directed its committee on Marine Transport when constituted, to follow up activities of the Nigerian extended continental shelf project and brief the Red Chamber.
The briefing by the UN Team and the Boundary Commission on the claim of the nation’s continental shelf, it said, should take place within four weeks.
The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by George Thompson Sekibo and 32 others on the “Urgent need to ascertain the status of the Nigerian Extended Continental Shelf Project.”
Sekibo in his lead debate, noted that on 7” May, 2009, Nigeria made a formal submission to the United Nation’s Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), stating its intention for an extension of the Continental Shelf beyond the 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
He noted further that the submission was sequel to the provision of Article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which allows coastal states to make additional claim of between 200 nautical miles to a maximum of 350 nautical miles (650 miles) beyond their Exclusive Economic Zone of 200 Nautical miles (about 370km), if the coastal state is able to prove through scientific data and information that the seabed and the subsoil of the marine area of its territorial sea is a natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin.
The senator said he is aware that every coastal state has a seaward delimitation of its territorial waters and for the purpose of insight, as follows: the territorial waters; the contiguous zone and extended continental shelf.
He said the United Nation’s Convention allows such additional claim to a maximum of 350 nautical miles.
Sekibo also said Nigeria’s claim for an extension of its continental shelf from 200 to 350 nautical miles is achievable and had thus set up an inter-ministerial technical committee in year 2000, and co-ordinated by the National Boundary Commission whic has been in the forefront of the project.
Source: The Sun