The maritime sector has the capacity to generate more than 1.6 trillion dollars annually if properly harnessed, Mr Bashir Jamoh, Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has said.
Jamoh stated this on Wedneday while delivering a lecture on Maritime Security and National Development in Nigeria at the National Defence College, Abuja.
“The maritime sector can generate not less than 1.6trillion dollars if we can properly harness all the investment opportunities and have foreign investors come and assist in the development.
“Development in the shipping sector requires good planning. This is the right time we have to start planning.
“With the estimated revenue per annum in the maritime sector, it can provide 30 times what the oil industry can provide.
“That means that the journey must start from today to ensure that we harness and achieve such target,” Jamoh said.
According to him, a recent publication described NIgeria as having the most dangerous waters to trade in, in terms of maritime security.
He explained that the consequences of the report was that it would transcend to negative impact on the nation’s growth and development.
The NIMASA boss listed some of the negative effects of maritime insecurity to include negative image of the country internationally, increase in insurance premium, inflationary impact, economic consequences, among others.
On measures to achieve maritime security in the country, Jamoh said it would require good governance, maritime infrastructure development and maritime security.
“When you have good governance, you address all the issues.
“Today, we are talking of maritime insecurity; the international community wants to make sure that when they arrive Nigeria safely, they will leave Nigeria safely.
“From time to time we must have policies that can be able to protect the maritime industry so that good things can continue to flourish.”
On governance, he said that Nigeria must introduce macro level policy interventions, fiscal and monetary policies, modular floating dock, stakeholders support system, deep blue project and fleet expansion.
He also suggested ship building, among others, to enable good governance.
The Commandant, National Defence College, Rear Admiral Mackson Kadir, in a remark, called for a change of orientation if Nigeria was to improve participation in the maritime sector.
While commending the efforts of NIMASA director-general toward the growth of the sector, Kadir said that the maritime outfit “sharpens the government of the sea”.
“Multiplicity of agencies will not serve national interest; it is important to link all organisations in the country to drive growth,” he said.