From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos
Nigeria’s non-utilisation of the unquantifiable economic potentials of the blue economy, and by implication the loss of huge revenue and resources, is down to the Federal Government’s inability to put in a place the necessary framework.
Making this disclosure during a seminar for maritime media in Lagos, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said that aligned with that factor is a lack of knowledge of such international property and concept, and by implication a lack of investments in it.
Noting that the wealth and natural endowments in, on and above the seas far exceed those on land and any other sphere, he regretted that while the Asians are making the most of it, Nigeria does not even have a good knowledge of such economic potentials, not to mention the infrastructure and capacity to explore the concept.
Such inadequate knowledge of the field, he said, meant that while many nations of the world have either a sub-department or ministry of ocean department, Nigeria has no office where the blue economy is particularly domiciled but rather placed ocean resources under different ministries.
According to him, “studies have shown that ocean resources are enough to sustain the economy. What we have in the sea, on the sea and above is more than what oil and gas can offer us. We are not taking advantage of the blue economy because our people are so ignorant of the concept.
“It is not just a Nigerian thing but also an African challenge. Presently, the people of the continent lack knowledge of the blue economy, its legal framework and investments. If we are able to tackle these problems, we will be able to sustain the concept.”
However, he disclosed that the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, was already working on getting in place a government policy on the concept to help unlock such potentials and increase national wealth, as well as job creation.