Business at risk: understanding threats to informal maritime transportation system in the South-South, Nigeria

Abstract

There are several crimes considered minor but which usually result in other serious crimes when left unchallenged. This is the nature of the threats against informal maritime transportation system within the South-South region of Nigeria, which has evaded the attention of scholars in literature. Utilizing a mixed-method approach and the broken window theory, this article makes a case for the growing security concern against commercial motorboat operators on account of negligence of piracy against the major stakeholders of the informal maritime transportation system in Nigeria. The implication is that the South-South region has become a hotspot for various heinous crimes made possible because piracy against less privileged groups such as the commercial motorboat operators (considered as minor crime) was left almost unaddressed by the Nigerian state. As Nigeria strives to combat maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), mending its broken windows that permit for heinous crimes is central for achieving a stable economy that factors in the place of the less privileged in the society.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    Motorboats, as used in this article, refer to the collection of all marine boats that make use of outboard engines, including those ones whose bodies are fabricated by local people using hard woods. They are the same thing as speedboats or powerboats.

  2. 2.

    Blue economy has to do with both the exploitation and preservation of ocean or marine environment for sustainable utilization. It is a concept largely used for stewardship extended to all the blue resources associated with waters, especially the ocean and it has its root to the Commonwealth Blue Charter and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, which talks about “life under water”.

  3. 3.

    This is a rough figure obtained from the FGDs carried out in Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers states.

  4. 4.

    Hire-Purchase is a common practice in Nigeria where assets, to be purchased in future, are paid for in installment for those who have no resources to pay for them at once. In most cases, those who have the money procure those assets and release same for others who pay in installment at a higher price; often doubling the market price. Ownership of such asset is only transferred to the hire purchaser when they complete the payment.

  5. 5.

    This was the estimate operators of these boats revealed they make in a day.

  6. 6.

    This was observed by many respondents during the FGDs.

References

  1. Adibe R (2016) Oil governance in Nigeria and maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, 2010-2014. Doctoral Thesis. Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria

  2. Adibe R, Nwangwu C, Ezirim G, Egonu N (2018) Energy hegemony and maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea: rethinking the regional trans-border cooperation approach. Rev Afr Polit Econ. https://doi.org/10.1080/03056244.2018.1484350

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Adongoi T (2016) Sea robbery and maritime business operations in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Doctoral Thesis. Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Uyo

  4. Africa Center for Strategic Studies (2015) Fundamental security challenges Nigeria must face, part 7: maritime security. Available at https://africacenter.org/spotlight/fundamental-security-challenges-nigeria-must-face-part-7-maritime-security/. Accessed 24 May 2020

  5. Akpabio EM, Akpan NS (2010) Governance and oil politics in Nigeria’s Niger Delta: the question of distributive equity. J Hum Ecol 30(2):111–121. https://doi.org/10.1080/09709274.2010.11906280

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Anaro B (2012) Nigeria: South-South - Integrating for economic development. Available at https://allafrica.com/stories/201204230719.html. Accessed 4 Apr 2020

  7. Anonymous (2017a) KII with a board member of Speedboat Owners’ Union in Akwa-Ibom on 4 April

  8. Anonymous (2017b) FGD with Speedboat Owners Union in Akwa-Ibom on 4 April

  9. Anonymous (2017c) FGD with commercial speedboat operators in Oron, Akwa-Ibom State on 5 April

  10. Anonymous (2017d) FGD with commercial speedboat operators in Oron, Akwa-Ibom State on 5 April

  11. Anonymous (2018a) FGD with speedboat operators in Bonny Island, Rivers state on 17 September

  12. Anonymous (2018b) FGD with speedboat operators at Oron, Akwa-Ibom State on 23 September

  13. Anonymous (2018c) FGD with speedboat operators at Oron, Akwa-Ibom State on 23 September

  14. Anonymous (2019a) FGD with speedboat operators at Brass, Bayelsa State on 7 August

  15. Anonymous (2019b) KII with a female corps member in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State on 10 August

  16. Anonymous (2019c) KII with a Chairman of a notable marine transport company in Bayelsa on 10 August

  17. Anonymous (2019d) FGD with speedboat operators at Brass, Bayelsa State on 7 August

  18. Anozie C, Umahi T, Onuoha G, Nwafor N, Alozie OJ (2019) Ocean governance, integrated maritime security and its impact in the Gulf of Guinea: a lesson for Nigeria’s maritime sector and economy. Africa Review 11(2):190–207. https://doi.org/10.1080/09744053.2019.1631640

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Asenguah S (2017) South South Region: Your Local Guide to the South South Region of Nigeria. Available at https://www.myguidenigeria.com/regionalinfo/south-south-region. Accessed 8 May 2020

  20. Brickstone (2019) Private sector participation in Nigeria maritime industry. Available at http://reports.brickstone.africa/whitepapers/WHP-MARITIME-SECTOR. Accessed 3 June 2020

  21. Bruwer C (2020) Transnational organized crime at sea as a threat to the sustainable development goals: taking direction from piracy and counter-piracy in the Western Indian Ocean. Africa Security Review. https://doi.org/10.1080/10246029.2020.1728352

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Chatham House (2013) Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. The Royal Institute of International Affairs, London

    Google Scholar 

  23. Chukwuma OM (2014) The characteristics of inland water transport in Nigeria. J Humanit Soc Sci 19(3):119–126

    Google Scholar 

  24. Coastal and Inland Shipping (cabotage) Act 2003

  25. COMCEC (2015) A brief on the national transportation sector report of the federal republic of Nigeria. Available at http://www.comcec.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Nigeria.pdf. Accessed 4 May 2020

  26. Daily Trust (2019) Big money, big trouble: The story of Nigeria’s multi-billion naira transport union. Available at https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/big-money-big-trouble-the-story-of-nigerias-multi-billion-naira-transport-union.html. Accessed 5 June 2020

  27. Ekpimah E (2016) Pirates kill man, seize cash, boat in Akwa Ibom. The Punch, p 8

  28. Ezeibe CC, Nzeadibe TC, Ali AN, Udeogu CU, Nwankwo CF, Ogbodo C (2017) Work on wheels: collective organising of motorcycle taxis in Nigerian cities. Int Dev Plan Rev 39(3):249–273

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Faith AE (2019) The maritime industry of Nigeria: challenges and sustainable prospects. Danubius Working Papers, 1(1), pp 20–31

  30. Femi SAG (2012) Characterization of current transportation challenges in the Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria. J Sustain Dev 5(12):117–128. https://doi.org/10.5539/jsd.v5n12p117

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Hamza FR, Priotti J (2018) Maritime trade and piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean (1994–2017). J Transp Secur. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12198-018-0190-4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Harcourt BE (1998) Reflecting on the subject: a critique of the social influence conception of deterrence, the broken windows theory, and order-maintenance policing New York style. Mich Law Rev 97(2):291–389

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Hinkle JC, Weisburd D (2008) The irony of broken windows policing: a micro-place study of the relationship between disorder, focused police crackdowns and fear of crime. J Crim Just 36(6):503–512. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2008.09.010

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Idelhakkar B, Hamza F (2010) Oil/petrol shipment risk: insurance contract between regulations and environmental policy. J Transp Secur 3:245–256. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12198-010-0050-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Igbokwe MI (2001) The importance of maritime transport in Nigeria economy. Available at https://mikeigbokwe.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Importance-of-Maritime-Transport-in-economy-Port-System.pdf. Accessed 3 June 2020

  36. International Chamber of Shipping (2020) Shipping and World Trade. Available at https://www.ics-shipping.org/shipping-facts/shipping-and-world-trade. Accessed 16 June 2020

  37. Inyang S (2009) Nigeria: South South - the Anatomy of a People, Resources, Vanguard, 22 April

  38. Kelling GL (1997) Fixing broken windows: restoring order and reducing crime in our communities. Simon & Schuster, New York

    Google Scholar 

  39. Neklason A (2019) The ‘Broken Windows’ debate survives its creators. The Atlantic, May 16. Available at https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/05/the-broken-windows-debate-survives-its-creators/589645/. Accessed 1 June 2020

  40. Nigeria Maritime Safety and Administration Agency (NIMASA) Act 2007

  41. NIMASA (2018) Emerging opportunities and challenges: Nigerian maritime administration and safety agency. Available at http://nimasa.gov.ng/pdfs/nigerian_maritime_industry_forecast.pdf. Accessed 4 Apr 2019

  42. Ogbonnaya M (2020) Nigeria’s anti-piracy law misses the mark. https://issafrica.org/iss-today/nigerias-antipiracylaw-misses-the-mark/. Assessed on 10/5/2020

  43. Okafor-Yarwood I (2017) Illegal unreported and unregulated fishing, and the complexities of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) for countries in the Gulf of Guinea. Mar Policy. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2017.09.016

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Okafor-Yarwood I (2020) The cyclical nature of maritime security threats: illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing as a threat to human and national security in the Gulf of Guinea. Afr Secur. https://doi.org/10.1080/19392206.2020.1724432

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Okoh (full name not given) (2018) KII with a boat owner in Oron, Akwa-Ibom state on 6 September

  46. Olanrewaju S (2020) Okada: N30bn business that threatens Nigeria’s future, https://tribuneonlineng.com/okada-n30bn-business-that-threatens-nigerias-future/. Accessed on 10/6/2020

  47. Olukolade C (2017) Lack of synergy among security, intelligence agencies unhealthy. Metrowatch, 13 June. Available at http://metrowatchonline.com/lack-synergy-among-security-intelligence-agencies-unhealthy-says-olukolade/. Accessed 19 May 2018

  48. Onuoha FC (2010) The geo-strategy of oil in the gulf of Guinea: implications for regional stability. J Asian Afr Stud 45(3):369–384

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Onuoha FC (2013) Piracy and maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea: trends, concerns and propositions. J Middle East Afr 4(3):267–293

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Oshodi L (2016) Transportation and mobility system in Lagos. Available at https://oshlookman.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/transportation-and-mobility-system-in-lagos/. Accessed 4 May 2020

  51. Pollard C (1998) Zero tolerance: short-term fix, long-term liability? In: Dennis N (ed) Zero tolerance: policing in a free society. Institute of Economic Affairs, London

    Google Scholar 

  52. Proshare (n.d) transport statistics. Available at https://www.proshareng.com/news/Nigeria-Economy/Transport-Statistics/14363. Accessed 13 June 2020

  53. Ranasinghe P (2012) Jane Jacobs’ framing of public disorder and its relation to the “broken windows” theory. Theor Criminol 16(1):63–84. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362480611406947

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Rouse M (2015) Broken window theory. Available at https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/broken-window-theory. Accessed 10 June 2020

  55. Sampson RJ, Raudenbush SW (2004) Seeing disorder: Neighborhood stigma and the social construction of “Broken Windows.” SocPsychol Q 67(4):319–342. https://doi.org/10.1177/019027250406700401

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Shelden RG (n.d) Assessing “broken windows”: a brief critique. Published online: Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. Available at http://www.cjcj.org/uploads/cjcj/documents/broken.pdf. Accessed 15 June 2020

  57. Ships and Ports (2017) Pirates abduct, rape women in Akwa Ibom community, February 7

  58. Sridhar CR (2006) Broken windows and zero tolerance: policing urban crimes. Econ Pol Wkly 41(19):1841–1843

    Google Scholar 

  59. Stewart G (1998) Black codes and broken windows: The legacy of racial hegemony in anti-gang civil injunctions. Yale Law J 107(7):2249–2279. https://doi.org/10.2307/797421

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Sullivan AK (2010) Piracy in the Horn of Africa and its effects on the global supply chain. J Transp Secur 3:231–243. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12198-010-0049-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Ugwueze MI, Onuoha FC (2020) Hard versus soft measures to security: explaining the failure of counter-terrorism strategy in Nigeria. Journal of Applied Security Research 15(4):547–567

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. UNCTAD (2019) Review of maritime transport. United Nations, New York

    Google Scholar 

  63. UNHCR (2017) Nigeria: Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) year-end report, January - December 2017. Available at https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/64600.pdf. Accessed 16 June 2020

  64. Vrey F (2011) Securitising piracy: a maritime peace mission off the horn of Africa. Afr Secur Rev 20(3):54–66

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Wilcox P, Quisenberry N, Cabrera DT, Jones S (2004) Busy places & broken windows? Toward defining the role of physical structure and process in community crime models. Sociol Q 45(2):185–207. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1533-8525.2004.tb00009.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Wilson JQ, Kelling GL (1982) The police and neighborhood safety: broken window. Available at https://media4.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/_atlantic_monthly-broken_windows.pdf. Accessed 10 June 2020

  67. World Bank Group (2019) Gender-based violence: an analysis of the implications for the Nigeria for women project. The World Bank, Washington, D.C.

    Book  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael I. Ugwueze.

Additional information

Publisher's note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ugwueze, M.I., Asua, S.A. Business at risk: understanding threats to informal maritime transportation system in the South-South, Nigeria. J Transp Secur 14, 119–135 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12198-021-00233-7

Download citation

Keywords

  • Informal maritime transportation
  • Motorboat operators
  • Broken window
  • Piracy
  • Gulf of guinea