The Federal Government has promised to increase revenue base and create job opportunities by embarking on massive growth and utilisation of oceans resources.
Speaking during the celebration of the African Day of the Seas and Oceans in Lagos yesterday, the Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi said there was need for Nigeria and other African countries to articulate strategies for effective utilisation of the continent’s maritime resources for sustainable growth.
The theme of the event is: “Harnessing African maritime potential for sustainable development”.
Amaechi, who was represented by the Director of Special Duties, Aminu Ibrahim Dutse, called for the formulation of pragmatic and viable policies that will ensure good governance across the continent.
“In Africa, available data shows that the 10 richest countries by GDP have large maritime domain. The sudden realisation of the economic importance of the seas and oceans cannot be unconnected with the huge oil and gas resources that are daily being discovered in the deep seas and oceans .
“This administration has realised the need to explore the nation’s maritime resources as efforts are on-going to improve infrastructure at the sea ports,” Amaechi said.
The Federal Government, Amaechi said, has stepped up efforts to make Nigeria a deserved maritime hub in the West and Central Africa by embarking on comprehensive port reforms and upgrading port infrastructure and linking the ports to the rail network to boost efficiency and quick cargo clearance.
Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside said the Federal Government has assured the agency that the nation’s seas and oceans would play effective role as a facilitator of economic prosperity
Nigerians, Peterside said, must not be blind to the potential for wealth creation, which abounds in the nation’ territorial seas and waters.
The seas and oceans, he said, possess huge economic resources that can take the country and the continent to the next level if the people urgently restore degraded resources and further develop others that have remained under-utilised
The event was organised by NIMASA in furtherance to the declaration of 2015-2925 by the African Union (AU) as the decade of African Seas and Oceans.
Over 600 participants attended the event.