The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, has said that the nation’s marine resources are rich enough to sustain Nigeria’s economy just like in most countries with maritime resources.
Speaking at the commemoration of the World Ocean Day held in Lagos, Peterside charged Nigerian maritime stakeholders on the need to celebrate the ocean, its importance in the life of the nation, and how economic diversification can be achieved for sustainable growth and development through the maritime sector.
He noted that, “like the cyber world which has reduced the real world to a global village, the ocean is global and connects people worldwide, thus inspiring continuing action year-round to protect and restore this amazing resource that we all depend on.”
He stated: “Time has come for all hands to be on deck and support the Federal Government’s efforts in taping into the blue economy and develop it to such a level that it can contribute far more greatly as projected”.
Peterside explained that nations like Singapore, Philippines and Malta along with the world great economies like the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Russia and China amongst others rely greatly on their oceans as the bedrock of their economy, and with about 90 percent of world trade being done by sea and shipping, it is time Nigeria begins to join the league of such great countries by engaging its waters more profitably.
“The World Oceans Day celebration inspires the thinking that recognizes that there is one global ocean that connects the entire world. Within this one ocean, there are five distinct oceans: the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and Southern Ocean. And it is already happening that the boundaries of these oceans are invincible and so it is important that we take steps to ensure that we tap the abundant resources inherent within our maritime endowment because our lives as a nation depends hugely on it”, Peterside said.
He opined that the issue of climate change and marine environment degradation is of concern to the nation and international community, adding that NIMASA, on its part, will continue to lend its voice in support of the advocacy and drive, which will further guarantee and compliment government’s ease of doing business initiative.