Worldwide Port and Maritime operations and their associated facilities and infrastructure collectively represent one of the single greatest unaddressed challenges to the security of nations and the global economy today. The reason that ports and shipping activity are so difficult to secure lies primarily in their technology. Ports are typically large, asymmetrical activities dispersed over hundreds of acres of land and water so that they can simultaneously accommodate ship, truck and rail traffic, petroleum product/liquid offload, storage or piping, and container storage.
The movement of freight, cargo (solid or liquid), and transport through a port is generally on a “queuing” system, meaning that any delay snarls all operations. Whether or not delays are related to security, security generally falls by the wayside in the interest of time management or convenience. Globally, there are very few uniform standards for point-to-point control of security on containers, cargoes, vessels or crews – a port’s security in one nation remains very much at the mercy of a port’s security, or lack thereof, in another nation. Organized crime is entrenched in many ports and a large majority of them still do not require background checks on dock workers, crane operators or warehouse employees. Most ports lease large portions of their facility to private terminal operating companies, who are responsible for their own security. The result of this is a “balkanized”, uneven system of port security and operations management as a whole.
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 onland 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.
1.4 Objectives of the study
1. To asses maritime security, information and communications technology.
1.5 Research questions
1. How can maritime security, information and communications technology be assessed?
1.6 Research hypotheses
Ho: Maritime security, information and communications technology cannot be assessed.
Hi: Maritime security, information and communications technology can be assessed.
1.7 Limitations of the study
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Scope of the study
The study focuses on assessing maritime security, information and communications technology with rivers port as a case study.
1.9 Definition of terms
Maritime: This is connected with the sea, especially in relation to seaborne trade or naval matters.
Security: This refers to protection of a person, building, organization, or country against threats.
Information and Communications Technology: This refers to an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications.
Uadiale, M. and Yonmo, E. (2010a). Africa in the International Courts: Addressing the Issues of Maritime Piracy in Contemporary Africa. A Paper Accepted for Presentation at the Forthcoming Africa Conference 2011: Africa in World Politics, University of Texas, Austin, U.S.A, March 25th -27th 2011). Pp 1-20.
Bichou, K. and Gray, R., 2004, A logistics and supply chain management approach to port performance measurement, Maritime Policy and Management, 31 (4), 47-67
Bichou, K. and Gray, R., forthcoming, A critical review of conventional terminology for classifying seaports, Transportation Research Part A, 39 (1), 75-92
European Conference of Ministers of Transport, 1998, La DesserteTerrestre des Ports Maritimes, RoundTable 113, Paris: 10-11 December 1998
Gray, R., 2001, ‘International Logistics’, Course Materials, University of Plymouth: UK