Transparency, Accountability, Key To Success Of The Blue Economy – maritime Operators

By Stephen Ubanna

For much of Thursday, September 10, 2023, Maritime stakeholders had gathered at the Lague of Maritime Editors, popular, LOME, Secretariat at FESTAC, slated for Commissioning.  The 20   -member Association was said to have used the opportunity of the presence of the industry key holders to organise the first roundtable at the secretariat on the Blue Economy which was said to be very revealing.

Although the Association had expected Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Bashir Jamoh, the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency , NIMASA and Emmanuel Jime, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, and Mohammed Bello Jibo, an Assistant Comptroller General of  the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, and Coordinator, Lagos Zonal Office, to be  at the al important  event but they were said to have –

Josephine Moltok, General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications , NPA, who was  said to have been mandated to represent the  Authority Chief Executive Officer, CEO,  at the LOME event was said to have used her position to convince Buba Jubril , Port Manager,  Tin can Island Port Complex , who is on the ground to accompany her  to the event in order to make a presentation on behalf of the agency    that was said to have been moderated by Olayiwola Shittu, Chairman , Skelas Nigerian Limited and a former Chairman, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents , ANLCA.

Prince OLayiwola Shittu Declares LOME, Secretariat Open

 Given his outstanding contribution to the nation’s maritime industry, he was appointed the LEAGUE’s Patron and operating in that Capacity   has performed the first function of cutting the tape to declare open  the Association’s Secreatriat for official use and moderated the first official assignment of Roundtable at the Secretariat.

.  There is no gain saying the fact that at the LOME Round table, the Representatives of the CEOs, of the NPA, NIMASA, and NSC, gave a good account of themselves that their absence were not much felt.  The Association’s Organising Committee, had assigned different topics to the CEOs, to ensure that justice is done.  The NIMASA, CEO, Jamoh, described as the originator of the Blue Economy in Nigeria was said to have been asked to speak  n ‘’Collaborations, key  to optimizing  Comparative Advantages of the  Blue Economy’’  while  Belo- Koko, the NPA, helmsman had the mandate to speak  on’’ Behavioural Change  will  facilitate   the progress  of Sustainable Blue Economy’’. Jime, the NSC, boss, had spoken on’’ Nigeria’s Ocean is blessed with abundance of Blue Economy resources’’ .

 Given the high  level of maturity exhibited by the LEAGUE members at the event may have informed why Isiechei Osamgbi,  Director, External Relations and Representative of the NIMASA, Director General  had urged the Leadership of LEAGUE to endeavour to invite the younger generation  Journalists for such  a forum in the  future to learn.

Speakers At LOME Roundtable

speakers at the LEAGUE roundtable may have gladdened the heart of participants, particular, the Journalists as they had enunciated fresh measures to be adopted to ensure to ensure that the Blue Economy project , which has  turned out to be ministry of Marine and Blue Economy and placed on the shoulders of Adegboyega Oyetola, a former governor of Osun state by President Bola Tinubu , contributes meaningfully  to the development of the Nigerian economy.

Jubril, Port Manager, Tincan Island port complex may have set the ball rolling when he said that the Blue economy project had been operational in the country over the years   but required the proper identification  of Comparative advantages  of the agencies  for the purpose  of  developing it and ensure that it is sustainable. 

The Tican Island port Manager who   had represented the NPA Managing Director at the LEAGUE Forum had advocated enhanced capacities ‘’to fully develop the Blue economy project through deliberate policy and stakeholders actions  necessary  to drive the processes’’.

Applauding   the LOME, for providing the opportunity for industry stakeholders to brainstorm on the dynamics of the Blue Economy, stated that the Authority had already prepared the grounds for its take-off consistent with the full realization, stressing that that ‘’the Authority will always provide the enabling environment through the required efficiencies, as well as develop the competencies and capacities and ensure that it is sustained.

He recalled that  the agency know where’’ we are coming from  and still  remember  the era of the warfare  at the port where the Authority used to have  women give births  at the port and all that. He averred that the Authority   in its quest for excellence in 1993 had declared that  ‘’, look , we cannot continue to remain like this’’. The Tincan Island Port Complex  Manager , who may be retiring in the next two weeks  had said that  ‘’it was consciously  or unconsciously  the way of re-wakening  the Blue Economy . Hear him . it is only that  it didn’t  get the name the Blue Economy.

He may have paved the way for Osamgbi, the Director External Relations, who had represented Jamoh, the NIMASA, Director  General, to take the floor to speak  on Collaborations , key to  Optimizing  Comparative Advantages of the Blue Economy.

The NIMASA. External Relations Director may have spoken the mind of  the Director General when he said that  ‘’the Blue Economy is unflding’’ , stating that  ‘’it is  at the stage  where Collaboration  of efforts , must  concentrate  at optimizing  the Comparative  Advantages  in order  to remain  competitive  in global space’’.

He had challenged the  industry operators  ‘’to see themselves  as co-drivers   in the journey towards  the success  of the Blue Economy’’ , insisting that without this  ‘’the success story  of the Idea as developed by the agency  cannot be complete’’.

The NIMASA Director who could not hide his feelings had said that  ‘’the country  must tell itself the home truth  that the Blue Economy  is in the front row  potential  in resource growth  and as one of the leading  revenue  source of the nation   and should be accorded  the right  attention  to drive its  explorations’’.

He reiterated that ‘’today  we are no longer talking  about  the benefits of the Blue Economy as the country has passed that  conception stage , noting that ‘’the  current discussions  should  be focussed on how  ‘’to tap into the various  strata , the unfolding of  the separate goldmines as enshrined in the NIMASA Act’’.

This may have informed why he had said that  ‘’we need  to do more  collectively  to improve  on our  individual  spheres  of contribution  to achieve  a sustainable  template  that will create   the much expected beneficial impact’’. He reiterated that that the efforts of the maritime regulatory agency remains  ‘’to strengthen   maritime security, maritime safety and ship development of the country’’. 

HThis is in addition   to developing ‘’the country’s maritime tourism, and cruise transportation, which are key considerations which the agency, he had said   will keep expanding’’.  He has made it clear to those that cares to listen that ‘’the time has come to maximize the country’s abundance in the Blue Economy and be able to operationalize their economic befits  by looking at the Comparative Advantages that each resource provides’’

. An elated Osamgbi  who is happy over the efforts being put in  by NIMASA to actualize the dream of the Blue Economy project over the last three years   had said that ‘’ the country must be  determined and focused’’.

 According to him,’’ Nigeria is not the first to be faced by maritime security challenges, alluding to the fact that ‘’ Singapore which have had security challenges had developed a niche for the Blue Economy market’’.  He had said that for the West African country to get that level of development ‘’we must have ‘’the   political and operational will  to tackle the  security challenges   as top of the identified  monster.

Jime, The NSC,  Executive  Secretary, who was said to have been represented   by Cajetan Agu,  the agency’s Director , Consumer Affairs Department  had described the Blue Economy  as having  ‘’huge economic potentials  that should be harnessed by all’’.

Describing Nigeria as a blessed country in terms of the abundance of the Blue Economy resources, Agu, who has the mandate of the agency CEO, to speak on his behalf at the LEAGUE’s Forum had pointed out that that ‘’the opportunities   embedded  in the Blue Economy  were so much  that it has  become the project  of the African Union, AU’’.

The NSC, Executive Secretary’s Representative   had revealed some of the potentials of the Blue Economy project as shipping, fisheries, under water mining, cruise transportation, and tourism.  He had said that in the realization of the  Blue Economy  project   may have informed  why the AU, sees it as a project  which no African country  will be able to handle  alone because of ‘’the issue of security’’.

Agu may have shocked participants at the LEAGUE Forum when he stated that ‘’the criminals move around in different territorial waters and s such ‘’the Blue Economy needs to be implemented together’’.  He disclosed that the AU, had developed a model on the Blue Economy project   after studying the potentials embedded in it, adding that for the Union, ’’it is the rebirth of African rennaisance’’

He admitted that Hamoh led Management of NIMASA,   has been able reduce to the barest minimum the activities of piracy in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea, thus giving a breather to the foreign ocean vessels plying the sea.

Timothy Okorocha-Paul, the LEAGUE President, had to participants at the Association’s inaugurated monthly roundtable Forum at the Secretariat will continue’’ to provide the missing nexus in the nation’s maritime industry, with regardsto developmental Journalism and the essential advocacy that nations depend upon  to nurture  their peculiar circumstances and build their capacities’’.

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