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                                            CHAPTER ONE

                                           INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Information communication technology (ICT) is spearheading the current stage of globalization, which is proceeding further with fragmentation of the social state, and national governance, with wider consequences for national, regional and international security matters. Hence, the resurgence of the phenomenon of maritime piracy in contemporary Africa, the consequence of which negatively impacts on the continent’s rubrics, fabrics and ramifications of security: economic, social, political, commercial, energy, environmental, humanitarian, investments, developmental, revenue, etc, is the stepchild of both local and global explanations, and dimensions which calls for urgent attention.
The introduction and application of risk assessment and management techniques to maritime security must take into account the complex regulatory and operational context in which the maritime industry operates.

Countries with small populations and higher levels of development may cope with globalization better, but they cannot afford to opt out of the mainstream forces that are shaping the world. There is, however, no doubt that economic and socio-political discontentment leads to existential discontent for populations who feel that they are marginalized either as individuals in their own societies or as nations unable to cope with the economic crises (Saighal, 2003).

Owing to the monopoly of only two major terminal operators in Australia, the necessary conditions for inter-port competition are not generally present. In the last three years, the introduction of the third operator was the basis of several debates (Lloyd Australian Weekly, 1999). The operators believe that the existing terminals can absorb the trade growth of 6 to 8 per cent up to the year 2020 (Bascombe, 1998). In contrast, the port authorities in Australia (the responsible body for providing port facilities) believe that the current capacity of container terminals will not meet the demands by 2006-2007 and should be expanded. It is not the intention of this paper to justify the above claims/counterclaims, but to investigate the operational inefficiencies caused by the lack of information technology in terminal operations leading to port congestion. Since the introduction of containers in the 1960s, determination of the optimum capacity of container terminals has been a major issue for port authorities around the world. This is primarily due to the requirement of a huge capital investment for the expansion of a port. For example, the construction cost of a two-berth container terminal would be around $150 million (£98 million) excluding dredging and navigation channel modifications (1999 price).

In order to deliver excellent service Transport and Logistics (T$L ) businesses need to build excellent relationships with their  clients, manage complex execution processes, and  manage their own assets and people effectively.  Despite being world leaders in the 1980s and 1990s Australian T&L companies have failed to  secure the productivity improvements that can now be gained using  existing technologies information that exists today is not being leveraged as it might to increase the productivity of T&L companies, their customers and the economy in  general. This failure to adapt ignores innovation and new technologies that can

deliver significant benefits and customer service improvements, including

the latest generation of Logistics Management Systems, Vehicle  Tracking  and Monitoring, Real‐Time Traffic Information, Routing, Freight Matching, and Wireless Communications that can ensure the effective integration of   parts of the supply chain. In fact, the most efficient supply chains worldwide leverage real‐time information and ensure real collaboration between partners, whether this is within a closed‐loop, across the industry, or indeed across the entire economy.  Impartial industry wide Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions will enhance the industry’s ability to deliver predictable and reliable flows of goods and  people.

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 ICT in the maritime sector 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 on land have spilled over and affected maritime security severely” The lack of upgraded system of communication 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. In Nigeria, politics on land directly result in offshore actions, causing the hub of insecurity on land 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 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main objective of this research is to ascertain the importance of information communication technology (ICT) in the maritime sector. The researcher came up with some sub-objectives during the course of the study which include;

  1. i) To outline the importance of information communication technology (ICT) in increasing productivity in the maritime industry.
  2. ii) To asses maritime security, information and communications technology and its economic importance.

iii)  To examine level of consistency of the information given to various parties in the chain of transport in the maritime industry.

  1. iv) To examine how shipping operations could be influenced by new and emerging technology and cooperation possibilities in the maritime industry.

1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

HO:  Information systems cannot be used to prevent pollution in the maritime industry.

H1: Information systems can be used to prevent pollution in the maritime industry.

 1.5 Research questions

  1. How can maritime security, information and communications technology be assessed?

1.6 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.

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