NIMASA: Bashir Takes Campaign On Investment Opportunities In Nigeria Blue Economy To South Korea

 By Stephen Ubanna

In order to educate the Business Community in South Korea, about the investment opportunities in the Nigerian Blue Economy Initiative, Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Nigerian Managing Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, who has a reputation for making use of the variety of opportunities that have been provided to him both locally and internationally gave a good account of himself.

Bashir, who was among the 13-man Nigerian delegation that were said to have accompanied President Muhammadu Buhari to Seoul, Capital of the Asian country of South Korea, to the World Bio-Summit, 2022, may have made his country proud when the Katsina state born Nigerian President took advantage of the event to hold a bilateral meeting with Yoon Suk-Yeol, his South Korean Counterpart.

At a meeting with the Asian country’s business community, the Nigerian President was said to have given the NIMASA Director General the chance to speak at the Presidential Villa in Seoul. He was said to have brought up “the Blue Economy Development initiative in Nigeria and the business Opportunities, to the admiration of the Nigerian President” at a South Korean business gathering.

Jamoh, DG, NIMASA, In A Handshake With President Yoon Suk-Yeol Of South Krea, With President Muhammadu Buhari Behind

His speech, on the Nigeria Blue Economy initiative, which was said to have been received with wide ovation, may have raised the country’s Business Community interest to invest in the Nigeria Blue economy.

There is no point in saying the fact that over the past few years, African nations, including Nigeria, have experienced major setbacks in their attempts to take advantage of the ocean economy, which is estimated to be worth over $4 billion.

These setbacks include port inefficiencies, high incidences of piracy, poor port environments, a lack of political will, and inefficient coastline resources, among others. The Nigerian Maritime Regulatory Agency had received a donation from an Asian nation for an anti-piracy vessel, which the NIMASA Chief Executive Officer, CEO, had estimated would cost roughly $1.4 million to transport to Nigeria.

Perhaps, to increase investment in the nation’s blue economy, Jamoh, the NIMASA, boss, had said that Nigeria is working to create a roadmap through a number of long-term and strategic agreements with relevant parties, such as maritime actors in the shipping or fishing ambit, policy makers, and nautical experts.

He had earlier stated that the agency has included the eight Nigerian littoral states in the scheme, ‘’to identify their comparative advantages –to be those in tourism, fishing, ship recycling,  ship building or ship repair, in order to develop this added value and partner with them’’.

Programs that were allegedly put forth by the agency to advance the nation’s “blue economy” included the consolidated wreck removal, which was allegedly approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, and taking control of an antiquated and technologically obsolete foundry owned by the Nigerian Railway Corporation,NRC.

A source said it was also in talks with Bayelsa, home state of former President Goodluck Jonathan to see  how the agency  can fund the resuscitation  of its foundry and thus, create more jobs in the country. The move became necessary, the source said ‘’to ensure that all the ship wrecks removed will be taken to the foundry and process it to raw materials  for the railway sector and also use some spare parts  for the ship building  and repair industry’’.

The governments of South Korea and Nigeria have recently expressed an interest in deepening their bilateral ties, particularly in the fields of politics, maritime, defense, and education. According to data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics, or NBS, the amount of trade between South Korea and Nigeria in the first half of the fiscal year, 2022 was estimated to be over N$1.1 billion. This shows a 20% rise from the trade volume in 2021.

Nigeria was said have displaced South Africa to become South Korea’s largest trading partner in 2021. This is in spite of negative public perception of the country which many believe had posed as a great disadvantage, dissuading the Asian country’s business Community from investing in the Nigerian market.

Kin Young-Chae, the South Korea Ambassador to Nigeria, who spoke during the official visit of Lyeon Woon-ki, President of Korean Africa Foundation, KAF, to Nigeria, late last September, had confirmed that ‘’there has been a general depreciation in global trade owing to the Asian country of China, emerged coronavirus, popular, COVID 19’’, including the decrease of volume of trade between Nigeria and South Korea.

 Indeed, with the signing of a Bilateral Agreement between the two countries last October with the South Korean Business Community which had renewed interest to invest in the nation’s Blue economy, Jamoh, the NIMASA boss remains optimistic that ‘’it will replace oil as the main stay of the country’s economy’’.

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