Oyetola brings fresh impetus to bear in ministry of marine-blue economy, meets maritime stakeholders, promises to refloat national shipping line

Group photograph showing the Minister and stakeholders after the meeting

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Oyetola brings fresh impetus to bear in ministry of marine-blue economy, meets maritime stakeholders, promises to refloat national shipping line

Targets $10bn annual ship charter market

Apparently, the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy is poised for greater development under the leadership of Adegboyega Oyetola as the Minister, as he is bringing fresh impetus and intelligence to bear in mapping out strategies that will stimulate rapid growth in the sector, and the nation’s economy at large.

Speaking with industry players during the ministry’s first Stakeholders’ Roundtable Engagement, on Advancing Sustainable Development in Nigeria’s Marine and Blue Economy sector, held in Lagos, yesterday, he revealed plans to re-establish a National Shipping Line.

He explained that this laudable initiative will be achieved through strategic Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) arrangement, with a view to capturing a substantial share of estimated $10 billion annual ship charter market within the country.

Speaking further, Mr. Oyetola emphasised that the new ministry is ready to fully embrace PPP models, in order to transform the sector for the greater benefits of the nation’s economy.

Giving more details on what Nigeria stands to gain from this arrangement, the Minister was quick to add that the initiative will not in anyway impede the growth of local players, rather it will provide ample opportunity for them to create and extract more value from the sector, especially through ship building, maintenance and repairs.

Also, the Minister explained that the model, a collaborative strategy between the private sector’s efficiency and the public sector’s oversight, will enhance transformative impact on marine and blue economy.

This, he said, will boost job creation, facilitate increased trade, as well as investment in the nation, reinforcing the ministry’s collaborative and forward-looking approach within the medium and long-term expectations.

Group photograph showing the Minister and stakeholders after the meeting

Some aspects of discussion at the Roundtable focused on strengthening the Blue Governance; Transforming Port Operations; Enhancing Port Infrastructure and Promoting Blue Economy Investments.

The Minister pointed out; “There is an urgent need for a collaborative effort to brainstorm and devise strategies to leverage our marine resources for the betterment of the economy and safety of our planet. It is imperative we come up with practicable ways of ensuring that our Inland Rivers, Lakes and Waterways are well utilised for cargo shipment and passenger transportation.

“This Engagement Forum is crucial to the development of the sector as it offers an opportunity for us all to collectively contribute our perspectives, ideas and offer relevant inputs that can propel the sector to the trajectory of success necessary to support the development of the economy, as well as meet the expectations of Mr. President who took the courage to open up Nigeria to focus on the Blue Economy Value Chain.

“The zeal for a better life for Nigerians propelled President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, to recently unveil 8 Presidential Priorities to address critical national challenges. These priorities are to be delivered through eight focus areas, namely: economic growth, food security, energy and natural resources, infrastructure development, security, healthcare, education, improved governance and job creation.

“Our Ministry though new, is not resting on its oars and has continued to foster Inter-Agency collaborations and implement initiatives to promote Port efficiency, cargo shipment, maritime security and tap into the resources of the Seabed.

“The ministry’s decision to consider  re-establishment of a National Shipping Line, through a strategic PPP arrangement, is borne out of our desire to capture a substantial share of the estimated $10 billion annual ship charter market within the country.

“This initiative will not seek to impede the growth of local players but rather to provide an avenue for them to create and extract more value from the sector, especially through ship construction, maintenance and repairs. This would enable our local businesses to better leverage the Carbotage Act, which gives Nigerians the exclusive right to control locally generated seaborne trade.

“Other anticipated outcomes include the creation of substantial job opportunities and facilitation of increased trade and investment in the nation, reinforcing our collaborative and forward-looking approach”.

The Minister, who said he is acquainted with the sector’s challenges, assured of his commitment to “bequeathing to Nigerians a better sector than we have met today”.

According to the minister, the forum was convened to bring together players in the sector to discuss and chart a roadmap/direction that will advance the industry’s potential, promote sustainable Blue Economy investments and ensure global competitiveness within the sector.

He gave assurance that the Stakeholders’ Engagement will be a continuous exercise; “because it is important that we normalise this harmonious synergy and work together to ensure that our industry is safe, reliable and sustainable”, the Minister stressed.

The Stakeholders’ Engagement was a well thoughtout initiative, as participants highlighted important areas, which the ministry should give attention, in order to achieve the desired result.

From right :  Photograph showing the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, Dr Magdalene Ajani, the Minister, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola and other stakeholders during the deliberation :

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