The Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN) has expressed concerns over alleged stagnation of the blue economy, citing unresolved operational challenges from the past year, despite the creation of the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy in 2023
In a press release issued by the President of the association Bunmi Olumekun, the association claims that critical issues affecting the barge operators remain unaddressed.
The association, although commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for establishing the ministry and appointing Adegboyega Oyetola as the pioneer Minister. However, they highlighted that the challenges faced by barge operators are known to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), continue to impede their success and hinder the growth of the blue economy.
Barging, a crucial component of the blue economy, significantly contributed to the industry’s development in 2023. The movement of cargo to and from ports played a vital role, despite operational challenges.
BOAN asserts that these challenges, if left unresolved, jeopardize their ability to generate substantial revenue and create numerous job opportunities, emphasizing the need for attention from both the NPA and the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.
The association called upon Mohammed Bello Koko, the Managing Director of NPA, and Minister Adegboyega Oyetola to address the identified challenges promptly.
They expressed readiness to collaborate with key port stakeholders in 2024 to overcome obstacles and foster industry growth.
The association added that as the new year unfolds, it remains optimistic about the potential for collaboration and improvements within the maritime sector, urging decisive actions to propel the blue economy forward.