Unlock Marine, Blue Economy Potentials with Port Infrastructure, Akinola Tells Govt
The Federal Government has been urged to take concrete and deliberate measures to unlock the abundant economic potentials in the country’s marine and blue economy for it to actualize the billion dollars revenues anticipated from the sector.
Leading maritime analyst and Chief Executive Officer of Ships and Ports Media Group, Dr. Bolaji Akinola, affirmed that the desire of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to achieve the expected trillion dollar revenue from the maritime sector will post a significant challenge for the government unless deliberate efforts are made to expand key segment of the sector for the greater economic benefits of the country and its citizens.
Speaking on a TVC television programme, the frontline media and public relations consultant in the Nigeria maritime industry explained that Nigeria is blessed with an extensive coastline along the coast of guinea that boost abundant marine resources with immense potentials for its economic growth and development.
Akinola said actualizing the trillion dollar benefits anticipated from the blue economy will require that concerted efforts and actionable initiatives are taken.
He said: “There is a need for an alignment of purpose. Take for instance, let’s look at the fishing aspect, because these are the low hanging fruits, the coastal trades, the international trades, even the fish trawling industry. We also need to look at that and say look, how do we now ensure that we get more Nigerian fishing trawlers into this business so that we can stem capital flight and retain value locally here.”
He bemoaned the negligible participation of Nigeria in the inland and coastal shipping and called for a significant impact on efforts to rectify the trade imbalances and foster economic development.
Citing the huge amount of revenue the country lost in trades, he said: “Nigeria losses a lot of money from international trade, the movement of crude oil out of the country, the importation of petroleum product into this country and the importation of many other goods into this country, on the average, I think about 5,000 vessels from statistics, are coming to Nigeria, none of these vessels, not one belong to a Nigerian.
“So imagine if we have a strategic plan to say look, of these 5,000 vessels that are trading in our country, we are going to ensure that within the lifespan of this administration, we will ensure that Nigerians are able to do ten percent.” he said.
On how the Federal Government and the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy can address the lingering challenges, Akinola calls for huge investment in port infrastructure, streamlining of regulatory processes and improving operational efficiencies.
He said such measures will enable Nigeria to revitalize its inland and coastal shipping sector, reduce trade imbalances and promote inclusive economic growth.