The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dakuku Peterside, has identified lack of investment, policy framework and knowledge as factors responsible for Nigeria’s inability to maximise the benefits of the maritime sector.
He stated this at a one-day seminar for maritime media stakeholders in Lagos on Tuesday.
At the seminar with the theme, ‘The role of maritime journalists in promoting blue economy’, Peterside noted that there was a need to put in place suitable policies to harness the untapped benefits of the sector.
He added that there should be commitment by African leaders towards providing investment opportunities to support the growth of the blue economy, generate employment and improve governance.
He said the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, was already driving the establishment of a blue economy policy that would help the country unlock its maritime potential and increase wealth.
He said, “Studies have shown that ocean resources are enough to sustain the economy. What we have in the sea, on the sea and above will be more than what oil and gas can offer us. But why is it that we are not taking advantage of the blue economy? it is because our people are ignorant of the concept of the blue economy. It is not just a Nigerian thing but African challenge.
“Presently, the people of the continent lack knowledge about the blue economy, its legal framework and investment. If we are able to tackle these problems, we will be able to sustain the concept of the blue economy.
“In many nations of the world, they have either a sub-department or a ministry of ocean department; but we have none in Nigeria. The minister of transport, however, is driving a process to enable us to develop a government policy on the blue economy.”
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