Nigerio Sao Tome Join Development Zone


The Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone is an area of overlapping maritime boundary claims between the two Countries located in the Gulf of Guinea.

In November 1999, the Heads of State of Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe directed the officials of the National Boundary Commission of the two countries to commence negotiations on the maritime boundary of the two countries. In August 2000, the Heads of state directed on the adoption of the Joint Development Zone approach since there was no consensus by the two countries.

After extensive negotiations, the Joint Development Zone Treaty was signed on the 21st February 2001 and was subsequently ratified by the Legislature of the two Countries and deposited with the Secretary General of the United Nations.


The key provisions of the treaty are:

  1. Definition of the Joint Development Zone by co-ordinates.
  2. 60% of resources to Nigeria, 40% to Sao Tome and Principe.
  3. Treaty to last for 45 years with review after 30 years.
  4. No renunciation of claims to zone by both countries.


The affairs of the Joint Development Zone is managed by a Joint Development Authority (JDA) that reports to a Joint Ministerial Council.

The Council has overall responsibility for all matters relating to the exploration for and exploitation of the resources in the JDZ, and such other functions as the States Parties may entrust to it.

The key functions of the Council are: