Oyetola, minister of Marine &Blue Economy Takes Nigeria Blue Economy Project To The Global Stage, Solicits For Support

By Stephen Ubanna

 Given that the blue economy project has the potentials of earning the North American country of the United States, US, $1 trillion annually to boost the Nigerian economy through its marine activities which include navigation, nautical, naval and other maritime activities   as related to the oceans , seas and bodies of water  may have informed why Adegboyega Oyetola, a former governor of Osun state and minister of Marine and blue economy is determined to take it another level.

 The former Osun state governor who had led  the country’s delegation , to the 23 session  of the International  Maritime Organisation, IMO, a United Nation, UN’s maritime agency,  which included both public and private stakeholders including    Bashir Jamoh, OFR, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMO and several other industry stakeholders, according to a ministry source  has taken  the blue economy project to  IMO General Assembly meeting in London, where he is expected   to announce the nation’s blue economy direction to the international Community.

The Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria, STOAN, under the Leadership of Mrs, Vicky Haastrup ,  who had repeatedly  said that  with Ouetola’s   unflinching commitment   to reposition to reposition  the country’s maritime industry  for optimum performance will take it to another  level.

As a prelude to achieving this, Jamoh, NIMASA, Director General, who had popularized the blue economy model in Nigeria, AND who has signed a performance bond with the minister   has promised to deploy the agency security architecture into Nigerian waters for effective surveillance of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone, EEZ to sustain harnessing of the blue economy potentials of the country between now and beyond 2027.

It was not surprising why the NIMASA Chief Executive with the backing of he minster had taken advantage of any opportunity provided at both the local and international stage to speak of the agency’s efforts  in the implementing the country’s 2003 Cabotage Act, which was said to have promulgate into Law by former President Obasanjo, expansion of  the domestic fleet , sustaining the Depp Blue Project and developing  an national  policy  on marine  and blue economy. This is in addition to opening up on the agency efforts in promoting ‘’Safety, through effective capacity development and enhanced safety security and compliance to global acceptable standards on maritime activities.

Oyetola, minister of marine &blue economy and Jamoh, DG, NIMASA, during the 23rd session of IMO, Genral AsSembly in Londoon, UK

This may have encouraged industry stakeholders to beat their chest  that  over the next few days in the Uk, by the Nigeria delegation to the IMO, General Assembly meeting, which would give the minister and his team , an opportunity to meet other international maritime perators who were aid to have  been involved in the development of the blue economy in  their country to rub minds with them  and give them an a roadmap  about the Nigeria’s blue economy direction and efforts  by the Nigerian government  ‘’ to harness the nation’s  maritime potentials  in line with the global acceptable  practices’’.

The minister may have given a hint of the Nigeria’s blue economy direction at the recent Nigeria Economic Summit Group, NESG, Conference at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, when he spoke ‘’Pathways to Sustainable Economic Transformation and Inclusion’’. He was said to have used the opportunity provided by the NESG Conference to disclose of plans to Launch a roadmap for the marine and blue economy with a focus on developing Nigeria, the most populous country in the African Continent  into a hub  of maritime  trade  and ancillary services  in the African Continent  with the take of the African  Continental  Free Trade Agreement, AfCTA. He was said to have identified ‘’the dominance of Foreign Shipping Companies and infrastructure deficits’’ as some of the challenges facing the nation’s maritime sector.  

Jamoh, G, NIMASA &Oyetola, minister , marine and blue economy during the 23rd session of the IMO General Assembly

An elated Oyetola had told participants at the NESG, Conference, that ‘’charting a policy agenda for the nation’s maritime sector   is critical ‘’to transforming the country’s marine and blue economy projection one of the best at the regional, and global level. Aware that the seaport the world- over have gone digital   and that digitalisation is used to drive port efficiency   and remove human contacts   that bred corruption may have strengthened his resolve to pursue the use of scanners in the country’s port operations and dredging of Inland waterways.  

In projection of the ministry of marine and blue economy ‘s policy direction in the next four years , he has made it clear to those that cares to listen  that ‘’it   is imperative  to work towards  improving  the capability  of  the country’s waters, engage  the draught  of  the Lagos seaports and other ports across the country, preparatory to achieve  the 24-hour  cargo clearance  and ensure adequate  connectivity of the major seaports  to the  hinterlands  with efficient  road  and rail  network creation.

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