The Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says it is seeking support to reposition Nigeria’s blue economy for the country’s industrial growth.
Director General of NIMASA, Mr Dakuku Peterside, made the appeal on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 in a presentation titled “Cargo and Transport Logistics” during the Agency’s special day at the ongoing 41st Kaduna International Trade Fair.
Peterside, who was represented by Mrs Marry Harman, Assistant Director, Shipping, noted that the blue economy in Nigeria held the key to Nigeria sustainable economic growth.
According to him, to unlock the enormous potential of the blue economy, investments in critical infrastructures that have numerous ways and capacities to boost the nation’s economy must be fostered.
“Let us rise from this fair with renewed determination to fully support the efforts of NIMASA in repositioning Nigeria’s blue economy for industrialization growth,” he said
He said that the blue economy dealt with the totality of all economic activities associated with the oceans, seas, harbours, ports and coastal zones.
According to him, the application or exploitation of these elements in a sustainable manner for economic development and wealth creation defines the concept of blue economy.
Peterside called on all to close gaps that might be exploited to weaken the efforts of NIMASA and the Federal Government.
He said that NIMASA would collaborate with stakeholders and governments in the Northern region on transport logistics, cargo handling and improving non-oil export shipping trade with a focus on agriculture and solid mineral.
He noted that Kaduna trade fair which focused on consolidating interface between industry and agriculture for Nigerian sustainable development would bring on board the maritime component of the opportunities.
“And linkage between transport logistics, Agriculture, accessible intervention funding for massive industrialization and sustainable economic growth in Nigeria,” he said.
According to Peterside, it was time that Nigerian cargos are carried by Nigerians in order to promote indigenous participation in the maritime space.
This, he said, would further promote diversification and increase international shipping and trade.
He explained that when trade capabilities were fully utilised, it would reduce importation of goods and services, conserve foreign exchange and capital flight which would contribute to GDP growth and economics stability.
Peterside said the NIMASA Act and the Nigerian Content Development Act were designed to ensure that substantial proportion of activities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry is domiciled within the country.
“This covers both upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry,” he said.
He said that the acts and various policies were favourable to indigenous players in the oil and gas sector, adding that such should be replicated in agriculture and solid minerals, which has huge potentials in global trade.
He explained that the agency is mandated to pursue the development of shipping and regulatory matters relating to merchant shipping and seafarers.
Other duties include provision of maritime search and rescue services, control and prevention of maritime pollution.
The fair, organised by the Kaduna Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), commenced on Feb. 28 and will run till March 8.
The theme of the fair is: “Unlocking Nigeria’s Economic Potential Through Regional Integration”.
By Hussaina Yakubu