NIMASA restates commitment to developing Nigeria’s Blue Economy …inaugurates implementation committee
BY FRANCIS EZEM
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, has said it is more than ever committed to the sustainable development and utilisation of the nation’s blue economic potential in line with Federal Government’s policy of diversifying the economy.
In line with this commitment, the agency has set up a 13-man committee of stakeholders drawn from the agency, Federal Ministry of Transport, private operators, ship owners and legal practitioners to draw a roadmap and come up with strategies to develop and harness the nation’s rich blue economic potential.
Director General of the agency, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, who gave this assurance, spoke at this year’s Africa Day of the Seas and Oceans ADSO, with the theme: Partnership, key to Sustainable Blue World, which held in Lagos, Wednesday.
The 22nd Ordinary Session of Heads of States and Governments of the African Union AU had in 2015 adopted the Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy, also called AIMS 2050, which in turn recommended the establishment of an Africa Day of Seas and Oceans slated for July 25th of every year. This is in recognition of the fact that Africa’s seas and oceans represent major assets to accelerate the development of the continent’s economies.
Part of the objectives of the theme is to raise awareness of the campaign for better waste management on land to aid the recovery of Nigeria’s seas and oceans, to popularise the strategic importance of National Maritime Strategy, to reopen the discourse on the National Maritime Transport Policy for sustainable development and to understand the agency’s roles beyond annual celebrations and partnership strategies to ensure sustainable implementation of resolutions. Another objective includes developing a roadmap for building a sustainable interest and passion for the maritime industry in our young people, among several others.
The DG stated however that partnership remains a crucial element to the effective development and utilisation of Africa’s maritime resources, noting that there is also need for countries in the African continent to collaborate, in order to realise a common goal, geared towards the actualisation of the continent’s Blue Economy.
“Our passion for Africa’s partnership inspires our leadership role in the Association of African Maritime Administration (AAMA) to continue to innovate with ideas to pull African Maritime Administrations (MARAD) together for sustainable realization of the objectives of the African Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) 2050 towards a peaceful, prosperous and integrated Africa where there will be equal opportunity to participate towards economic growth.
“The world is concerned about the sustainable use of the seas and oceans as it is endowed with enormous resources, but unfortunately, they are neglected in Africa including Nigeria, hence the need for the continent to utilise the opportunities embedded in it”, Peterside said..
He therefore called for more collaboration among stakeholders in developing a robust maritime industry in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, and assured that NIMASA will continue to engage and educate the public on the sustainable use of the seas and oceans.
Chairman of the well-attended event by stakeholders and experts in the industry and Managing Director, Starz Marine and Engineering Services Limited, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, in his opening remarks, noted that the world is beginning to go back to the original creation God blessed mankind with, which is the seas and the oceans.
He noted that Nigeria is at a vantage position, given her good geographical location with about 900 km coastline, hence the need to work harmoniously to realise the blueprint of the AIMS 2050 with the overall goal of actualising the concept of the Blue Economy in Africa for continental economic growth.
The NIMASA board chairman, Major General Jonathan India Garba (rtd.), who also heads the implementation committee in his goodwill message, admitted that it has become expedient for Africa to realise that the world is getting more and more dependent on resources from the seas and oceans, noting that it is the engine for economic growth. He therefore urged stakeholders in the maritime industry to work together for the benefit of the utilization of Africa’s blue economic potential.