By Stephen Ubanna
Dakuku Peterside, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and Chairman, African Maritime Administrations, AAMA, has drawn the plight of Africa and other developing economies to the Industrialised nations in far away Osolo, capital of the Asian country of Norway. Peterside who is in Norway to attend the Nowegiqan, popular, NOR Shipping Conference and Exhibition , holding between Tuesday, June 4, and Friday, June 7, 2019, had noted that ”ocean industries will be contributing to sustainable development goals in the world only when developing and developed economies benefit in a sustainable manner.
The NIMASA Director General who could not hide his feelings called on the developed economies and Multi-national Companies to support Africa and other developing economies to build Capacity and Regulatory Enforcement needed to ”maximise the benefits of ocean economy. He pointed that 33 of Africa’s 54 countries are either coastal or Island states . The NIMASA boss disclosed that these African countries are faced with enormous challenges as other coastal nations such as Environmental pollution, climate change, poor ocean governance , overfishing , insecurity and marine liter .
perhaps, to put Africa on a sound maritime footing, the NIMASA boss was said to have advocated that developing economies and the small Island states need to work together in two principal areas of building up their Regulatory Enforcement Capacity as well as developing the skills and technology needed to tap to the ocean economy in a sustainable manner.
He believes that the offshore exploration Companies and other ocean economic activities have not done enough to support Africa and other developing economies,, urging them to apply the same operating and environmental standards used in the developed economies instead of adopting a different standard in developing nations like Nigeria. He maintained that applying the same standards of operation will ”ensure that no country is left behind in ”our collective quest for clean and sustainable ocean that support economic prosperity”.
According to him, ”responsible ocean governance and economic opportunities are not mutually exclusive but complementary”. The good news was that the Director General of the Nigerian maritime regulatory agency spoke at a a gathering of the cream of world shipping magnates which include Ms. Lise Kingo, Chief Executive officer, CEO, of United Nations Global Compact, Ki Tack Lim, Secretary General of International Maritime Organisation, IMO, Michael Lodge, Secretary General of International Seabed Authority, Vice President of Seychelles and CEOs of several multi-national Companies. Also in attendance at the high profile meeting in the Norwegian capital of Osolo were Shipping magnates and Administrators . Torbjorn Roe Isaksen, the Norwegian minister of Trade was equally at the meeting to interact with the invitees on the areas of trade Cooperation between Norway and their respective countries. Note that Nigeria is one of major importing nations of Stockfish produced in Norway. Statistics from the ministry of Trade shows that the country spends millions of dollars annually to import stockfish from the Asian country.
The high level Ocean leadership meeting which was organised by the United Nations Global Compact and the Norwegian government was said to have been held at the residence of the country’s Prime minister, as part of the activities to mark the 2019 edition of NOR shipping .
The forum was said to have discussed the highlights of global goals, Ocean opportunities which many believe was a report of the UN Global Compact as well as UN Global Compact sustaineable ocean principles that will be unveiled this September in NewYork, United States of America.
Ms.Kingo, the CEO, UN, Global Compact , may have gladdened the heart of maritime Administrators from Africa and other developing economies when she said they have a specific mandate to work with and inspire companies of all sizes and from all regions and industries , to ”act responsibly and find opportunities to advance sustainable development. Her joy was that many business around the world are taking appreciable interest in ocean sustainability work