Former Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, says an integrated national agenda will ensure the nation benefits optimally from its coastal endowment.
Peterside disclosed this at the inauguration of the Blue Economy Co-ordinating Group formed by the Blue Economy Resources Nigeria Ltd., in Lagos on Thursday, July 1, 2021.
Blue economy is a term in economics relating to the exploitation, preservation and regeneration of the marine environment.
He said that the Blue Economy Co-ordinating Group existed to drive collaboration as well as integration, promote the sector and champion a coordinated approach to the pursuit of the blue economy agenda.
According to Peterside, the leadership of the group is made up of persons from diverse sectors.
He said that they assembled the best from amongst them to lead the collaboration.
The group members are: Hajia Lami Tumaka as Chairman, Mr Ojiji Onya as Managing Director, Alhaji Suleiman Adams and Alhaji Dikko Bala as Executive Directors.
Others are: HRM Munir Ja’afaru, Mr Temisan Omatseye, Sen. Grace Bent, Mrs Jean Chiazor-Anishere(SAN), Cdre. Daniel Atakpa of Nigerian Navy, Mr Michael Onuoha as members.
“I consider it a great privilege and honour to inaugurate this group. It is a historic and significant moment in our quest as a nation to optimise the benefits of the blue economy sector.
“The question which we must ask ourselves and provide answers to is why this group. And I will try and give my perspective.
“First, it is an acknowledgement that government alone cannot achieve our vision of a vibrant blue economy sector that addresses the issue of sustainable development without the private sector.
“The responsibility of optimising the benefits of blue economy is a shared responsibility between the government, private sector, civil society community, professionals and other actors in the sector,” he said.
Peterside said that robust partnership by all actors had proven to be the master key to unlocking the benefits of sustainable development of the blue economy.
He pointed out that the private sector was uniquely positioned to market the potential and attract investment to the blue economy sector.
According to him, it could as well create limitless opportunities, especially in employment generation, protection of communities and in wealth creation.
He said that the blue economy was a new frontier that required more understanding and further study on how to integrate all the sub-sectors.
Peterside said that professionals and private sector players were better suited to lead the research and advocacy.
“Everything about the blue economy is about integration and collaboration between sectors, government and communities, and collaboration between government and private sector,” he said.
Peterside said he was glad that some government agencies, multilateral and financial institutions had already expressed willingness to advance the beneficial impact of the blue economy.
“This is a historic assignment that will redesign our economic direction in the days ahead.
“I wish all members of this group success and pray that their names be written in gold in due season, whenever the history of evolution of blue economy will be written in Nigeria,” he said.
Earlier, Tumaka said that the idea was to sensitise and enlighten stakeholders on their vision and mission for the industry and ultimately seek their support and by-in.
She said that she was convinced that working together as one, they would be able to have the desired positive impact on the maritime business in Nigeria and beyond.
“Our company is a private sector initiative composed of credible technocrats with the mission to collaborate with government and relevant stakeholders to move Nigerian maritime sector forward using the emerging blue economy principles based on multi-sectorial inclusive approach,” she said.
The Blue Economy Co-ordinating Group’s vision is to be the leading conglomerate for providing national development, economic growth and sustainability through harnessing the blue resources.
Its principles are hinged on partnership and accountability, while it is growth driven and aims to achieve excellence.
By Chiazo Ogbolu