By Adedapo Adesanya
A former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), has praised President Bola Tinubu for creating the Ministry of Maritime and Blue Economy, saying the country can make about N7 trillion from the sector.
Mr Agbakoba said this in a statement issued on Thursday.
In the statement seen by Business Post, the senior lawyer expressed “perfect delight that after 30 years of advocacy on major maritime policy, finally a minister for marine and blue economy has been named.”
On Wednesday, President Tinubu assigned portfolios to 45 ministers-designate, and one of the new ministries created was the Marine and Blue Economy. He appointed Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo as the Minister for the sector.
In the notice issued by his media aide, Mr Niyi Odunmorayo, the legal practitioner noted that, “The maritime sector has been a distinctly ignored sector of our economy,” arguing that, “This has been a major omission.”
“Nigeria is a maritime nation and must advance policy issues to tap into the absolutely massive economic opportunities. This is a sector that will, with the proper direction of government, easily contribute at least N7 trillion to the public revenue. Key aspects of our maritime policy must focus on enforcement of cabotage legislation, ports development, ocean governance and the blue economy in addition to many aspects of this incredibly wealthy sector,” he added.
Also commenting on the creation of the ministry, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Bashir Jamoh, has praised Mr Tinubu, saying this was “long overdue.
“I want to commend President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for creating the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry and appointing Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo to man its affairs. There are new opportunities around us, and I’m glad Nigeria, with the creation of this ministry, will explore the concept of the blue economy.
“The blue economy is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem.
“Blue economy activities include maritime shipping, fishing & aquaculture, coastal tourism, renewable energy, water desalination, undersea cabling, seabed extractive industries and deep sea mining, marine genetic resources, and biotechnology.”
“Honestly, this ministry is long overdue, more importantly, to support the diversification of the economy.
“Efficient management and sustainable exploitation of the marine resources in our seas and oceans, no doubt, provide a veritable tool for economic growth.” Mr Jamoh said.