The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has said that the Federal Government will promote blue Economy for the safe and sustainable use of the continent’s vast sea and ocean resources.
The Minister who was represented by the Deputy Director, Shipping and Cabotage, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mrs. Gloria Adie-Ayabi, disclosed this at the Public Presentation of Nigeria’s Maritime Industry Forecast for 2019-2020 organized by NIMASA with the theme: “Harnessing the Shipping and Maritime Sector for Sustainable Development” in Lagos on Tuesday, 29th January, 2019.
The Minister further said maritime has key role to play in the alleviation of poverty and wealth creation as it constitutes an integral source of income and employment for many in the developing world.
On the issue of insecurity which plagues the maritime sector, the Minister informed that there is an on-going agreement with an international company to provide water protection as well as a bill in the National Assembly for an Act to suppress piracy and other unlawful acts at sea.
While describing the maritime sector as cheap and reliable means of transportation of large volumes of goods and services, the Minister said all is be done to harness the opportunities in the sector.
In his welcome address, the Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside said, the presentation brings to the front burner critical industry policy issues and best global practices to guide investors and stakeholders in harnessing the potentials of the Maritime economy.
Furthermore, the Director General informed that since shipping is capital intensive, efforts are being made towards asset acquisition to encourage indigenous participation in the vast opportunities that the maritime sector presents.
In his presentation on Macroeconomic Perspective of the Nigerian Economy and its Maritime Sector, an expert in the Industry, Dr. Doyin Salami, observed that the maritime sector which is still largely unexplored is expected to grow by 10% in 2019. However, he draws attention to the fact that global happenings will affect the sector, stressing that, an insecure environment is a disincentive condition for investors. He identified some of these security challenges to include: Piracy, armed robbery, unskilled labour, lack of technology among others. He therefore called on the Federal Government to support the regulatory development of the sector by passing the Petroleum Industry Bill, the Anti-Piracy Bill, while urging that the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) conventions be domesticated in Nigeria.