The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has commended the efforts of Chairman, Starzs Investments Company Limited, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun and other members of the Advisory Council of the just concluded Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) in promoting the blue economy agenda.
Obaseki, gave the commendation in Lagos on Tuesday while speaking at the launch and public presentation of the book ‘The Potentials of Nigeria’s Maritime Economy’ authored by Engr Ogbeifun.
He said Edo State being a littoral state historically will exploit the numerous opportunities in the blue economy for the economic development of the State.
While congratulating Ogbeifun for the book- a collection of presentations that provide a narrative of Nigeria’s maritime industry in its current state, Obaseki described the nation’s foremost shipping mogul as a selfless leader.
The governor also applauded the role of Ogbeifun as the Chairman of the Benin River port project committee, stating that the port upon completion will help in facilitating both domestic and international trade in the sub region.
“We join you in celebrating this year’s summit and we join our brother and friend Greg Ogbeifun and his colleagues in the Council to show our solidarity and support for the amazing work which they have been doing in promoting the blue economy.
“Edo State has always through history been a littoral state as far back as the 14th century, we have direct access to the rest of the world through maritime activities starting with the Portuguese. So, when we went into this about four years ago, I constituted a team and I am fortunate enough to have Greg Ogbeifun to Chair the committee put in place to establish the Benin River port.
“That project is going to be quite significant in facilitating both domestic and international trade in our sub region.
“Tonight, is a night for me to congratulate and felicitate with you and encourage you to continue to commit yourselves to the very difficult task of regenerating our economy and linking our economy to global trade.
“As we unveil this book tonight, I believe that it is important that each and every one of us here begin to share this book from our sphere of influence so that we can truly exploit the goldmine in the Nigerian maritime sector,” he said.
In his remarks, Engr. Ogbeifun said the primary aim of the book is not to complain about the bad past, gloomy present and bleak future of the industry but to provide a roadmap for the government and industry players to proffer invaluable solutions on how to leverage limitless resources of the nation’s maritime environment for sustainable socio-economic development.
Ogbeifun encouraged young professionals to take advantage of the book and avail themselves of the enormous potentials in the maritime sector.
“This book is an intellectual book that is useful to give hope to the younger generation of Nigerian shipping stakeholders who may be feeling hopeless as a result of the current state of things. The nation’s maritime sector has lots of potential that hasn’t been touched and I will encourage everyone to buy and send to maritime institutions and other tertiary institutions,” he said.
In her review of the book, Sofieye Uzor, a corporate communications specialist and researcher said the book focuses on specific sectors of the maritime industry, which if adequately harnessed, could swing the economic future of the nation away from crude oil dependency, create new employment opportunities and raise the collectable revenue base.
She recommended the book, which she described as a voyage covering all facets of the industry to maritime institutions to serve as a bridge between the past and the future for the new generation and industry players as a compass to guide them towards the opportunities that abound in the sector..
Industry stakeholders present at the event include the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh; Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Hasstrup; Chairman of the governing board, NIMS, Mfon Ekong-Usoro, Chairman, Shipowners Forum, Margret Orakwusi and Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Starzs Investments Company Limited, Iroghama Ogbeifun among several others.