The Honourable Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, H.E. Adegboyega Oyetola has charged Stakeholders’ in the maritime sector to build and forge partnerships that would propel the blue economy to achieve the Federal Government’s ideals of achieving a sustainable maritime sector.

The Minister stated this earlier today, May 14, 2024, at the opening session of a 2-day Ministerial Stakeholders Engagement on enhancing activities in the Blue Economy Sector.

Speaking on the thrust of the interactive session, the Minister said: “Let us seize this opportunity to forge partnerships, foster innovation, and propel Nigeria’s Blue Economy towards a prosperous and sustainable future”

The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, Oloruntola Olufemi Michael, stated that only through frank and constructive dialogue, collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovative solutions amongst shipowners and operators, Trawler Operators, Fish dealers, Port Authorities, Terminal Operators, Government Agencies, Regulatory Bodies and other Stakeholders will enhanced efficiency be achieved in the sector.

According to Oyetola, “As we navigate the complex waters of global trade and economic uncertainty, we must recognize the significance of the marine and blue economy sector in stimulating national economic growth and development”.

This is even as he noted that “The government has identified this sector as a pivotal area of focus, and we are committed to creating an enabling environment that supports your businesses and promotes the growth of the sector as a whole”.

Outlining some of the impediments affecting stakeholders, Oyetola stated that the Ministry has amongst others, identified safety and security concerns to regulatory hurdles and market fluctuations, unlocking of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund for disbursement to support the growth and development of shipping businesses in the country.

He noted that surmounting the challenges of the industry requires the input from both parties, adding that this interaction is a step by the government to finetune and reverse the unfavourable terms of trade within the sector.

He further assured Stakeholders of Government’s committed to creating an enabling environment that supports businesses and promotes the growth of the sector as a whole.

Stakeholders who spoke on behalf of Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, emphasized on the need to consider the independence of ship registration as observed in other maritime countries, also stressing for implementation of the Cabotage Fund and the need for the Ministry to look at the the Deep Blue Project.

In a similar vein, the President, Nigerian Trawlers Association, Ben Okonkwo, who spoke on behalf of Fish Trawler Operators identified multi-regulation and high cost of diesel as factors militating against the smooth operation of the sub – sector, and called on the Federal Government to profer alleviative measure that will reduce the cost of diesel.

Zakari Tahir M
AD (Press & PR)
For Director, Press & PR

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