October 1, 2022

Maritime Today Online

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FG alone can’t achieve vibrant blue economy without private sector input- Peterside  

By Shulammite ‘Foyeku

Immediate past Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has said that the government alone cannot achieve the vision of a vibrant blue economy sector that addresses the issue of sustainable development without the private sector.

Peterside, who spoke during the virtual inauguration of the Blue Economy Resources Nigeria Coordinating Group in Lagos on Thursday, said the responsibility of optimizing the benefits of the blue economy is a shared responsibility between the government, private sector, civil society community, professionals and other actors in the sector.

“Robust partnership by all actors has proven to be the master key to unlocking the benefits of sustainable development of the blue economy. The private sector is uniquely positioned to market the potentials and attract investment to the blue economy sector as well as create limitless opportunities for us especially in employment generation, in the protection of our communities and in wealth creation,” he said.

Describing the blue economy as a new frontier that requires more understanding and further study on how to integrate all the sub-sectors, the former NIMASA boss said professionals and private sector players are better suited to lead the research and advocacy, stating that now is the time to set a coherent national agenda for the nation to benefit from its coastal endowment.

“Everything about the blue economy is about collaboration between sectors, government and communities, and collaboration between government and private sector and so everything is about collaboration and integration.

“This group exists to drive that collaboration as well as integration, promote the sector and champion a coordinated approach to the pursuit of the blue economy agenda. You can see that the leadership of the group is made up of persons from diverse sectors. This explains why the promoters of this vision assembled the best from amongst us to lead this collaboration,” he said.

Peterside disclosed that some government agencies, multilateral and financial institutions have already expressed willingness to advance the beneficial impact of the blue economy.

This, he said, is a ‘historic assignment that will redesign our economic direction in the days ahead’.

Speaking earlier. Chairman of the Group, Hajia Lami Tumaka, said the group is the culmination of enormous collective effort of the innovative Board of Directors of the company – the Blue Economy Resources Nigeria Limited, which began some months ago.

Tumaka, who is a former director in NIMASA, said it is a private company registered under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

She said: “Our company is in business to provide be-spoke innovations tailored towards facilitating maritime business-friendly solutions to the challenges in the emerging blue economy sector of Nigeria.

“To this end, we are poised to be Nigeria’s leading blue economy business anchor with our focus on the efficiency of our maritime policies/laws, blue economy capacity building, strategic public-private partnerships in cargo affreightment, infrastructure development, marine environment management, inter-modal transportation, marine bio-technology, ocean energy and increased indigenous cabotage participation.

“It is for the realization of the above corporate objectives that the board considered and approved the constitution of a Coordinating Group with proven track records of achievement drawn from various fields across the maritime sector.

“We shall as a group establish networking platforms to engage critical stakeholders including the Honourable Minister of Transportation, the Heads of maritime agencies, ship owning associations, barge/boat operators, oil and gas players, maritime workers, marine environment managers and community groups. The idea being to sensitize and enlighten them on our vision and mission for the industry and ultimately their support and buy-in.”

Other members of the group are: Alhaji Munir Ja’afaru; Jean Chiazor Anishere; Mr. Temisan Omatseye; Commodore Daniel Atakpa; Senator Grace Folashade Bent; Mr. Ojiji Oniri Onya; Alhaji Dikko Tahir Bala; Chief Michael Onuoha and Suleiman Adama.