The Group Managing Director, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele kolo Kyari has said that the corporation shall always support NIMASA in its efforts to harness the opportunities in the marine environment which ultimately would help accelerate the country’s economic growth.
Kyari said this during the celebration of African day of seas and ocean tagged "Harnessing Nigerias Marine Biodiversity for Accelerated Growth", held in Lagos.
Kyari who was represented by a general manager, Lamin Ibrahim said, "We should not expect to harness our maritime biodiversity if we cannot curb insecurity in the country. It has stated that for the last decade, Africa has been the epicenter of international maritime insecurity.
"Piracy and armed robbery at sea has re-emerged in the modern era off the eas and west coasts of Africa alike, this has caused enormous human and financial damage. I have no doubt in my mind that with better and efficient maritime security in the country, economic activities in the maritime sector will flourish he said.
Meanwhile, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila stated at the ceremony that under his leadership, the House would be committed towards national quest for the sustainable use, conservation, exploitation and exploration of Nigeria’s seas and oceans to maximize the vast economic potentials.
Gbajabiamila, who was represented by Hon. Linda Ikpeazu pledged that the House would be keen to enact laws required to engender the development of the nation’s blue economy.
Speaking earlier the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside stated that Nigeria must sustain its increasing population through wealth creation from the enormous blessings of the diverse organisms and ecosystems that are in the oceans and seas.
Dakuku said; “This year’s celebration provides us with an opportunity to deliberate on the exploration of the enormous resources embedded in Africa’s seas and oceans; and how to exploit them to our advantage as a nation towards our economic prosperity."
He stressed that the nation must develop an interest in the conservation, exploration and exploitation of its marine biodiversity to enable it achieve sustainable economic growth.
According to him “Nigeria can achieve accelerated economic growth and development through the regulation, exploitation and protection of her marine biodiversity through a comprehensive and articulated approach which will not necessarily impact negatively on the environment”, he said.
He reassured that as a Maritime Safety Administration, NIMASA would remain committed to focusing its attention on formulating policies in tandem with the development of marine biodiversity towards enhancing Nigeria’s economic growth in line with Government agenda on diversification of the economy.