The next decade presents the possibility of enhanced competition among the growing Asian powers for a greater share of the Gulf of Guinea hydrocarbon resources. Increased maritime activities without commensurate regional capacity-building could pose a very real threat to the national interests of the United States, Asian powers, and local states. To achieve the expected security paradigm, then, cooperation and capacity-building, rather than competition, should be the watchwords for all stakeholders.
For Nigeria, and indeed the Nigerian Navy, past and current commitments to sub-regional peace and stability remain a consistent practical focus. Evidently, maritime security cooperation, promotion of peaceful exploitation, and conflict resolution characterize Nigeria’s relationship with her maritime neighbors. In realization of its lead role, the Nigerian Navy remains dedicated to cooperative initiatives at both interagency and inter-navy levels. In that regard, the U.S. Navy has in the past decade demonstrated its commitment through several partnership programs for capacity building with the Nigerian Navy. In the future, increased operational capacity through cooperative mechanisms such as maritime centers of excellence, information-sharing and common operating procedures are on the table with respect to the Nigerian Navy’s maritime policing functions.
The Nigerian Navy looks forward to increased partnership commitment with the U.S. Navy on capacity-building programs aimed at developing self-sustaining capabilities while also promoting a cooperative spirit among all stakeholders, especially in the Gulf of Guinea.