Maritime industry stakeholders have urged the Federal Government to fully harness the ⁰0numerous potentials inherent in the blue economy.
The stakeholders, on Thursday at an event to mark the Silver Jubilee Anniversary of the League of Maritime Editors (LOME), in Lagos, also tasked the new Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, to hit the ground running, and engage in active synergy with major stakeholders to achieve its mandate.
Leading the discussion in that line, a Lecturer at the Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Delta state; Dr Charles Okerefe, said the time has come for Nigeria to actualise the potentials in the marine and blue economy industry.
Okerefe submitted that several elements of marine and blue economy needs to be fully harnessed to provide more employment and financial bouyancy for the economy.
He highlighted the key areas to include; Deepsea mining, Marine tourism, Shipping and port operations, Renewable energy, and Fishery, among others.
According to him, “a lot of our youths are still jobless, so we need to exploit all these areas to ensure that the necessary jobs are created while whealth is also created for the economy,”
Also speaking, Director of Press, Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, Olujimi Oyetomi, assured the ministry’s commitment to work with all stakeholders to exploit the potentials of the blue economy.
He urged journalists to be patriotic and realistic when setting agenda.
Earlier, while welcoming guests to the event, President, League of Maritime Editors (LOME), Chief Timothy Okorocha, urged the ministry to be more sector specific in its programmes and to partner with stakeholders as at when necessary, to avoid creating gaps.
He called on President Bola Tinubu to provide the Minister with the needed impetus to bring an end to the unending rat race of the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) establish since 2003, to jump-start a new lease of life for the for the capacity development of the indigenous shipowners.
This, he said would enable Nigeria participate meaningfuly in our seaborne trade and especially with the proposed commencement of the implementation policy of the blue economy.
Similarly, he urged the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), to move away from the ritual of endless talk and lamentations into doing the needful, the reconstruction of broken down asset and infrastructure.