The director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside has said that the Gulf of Guinea is strategic to the actualisation of the blue economy.
He stated this at the Committee Meeting for the Implementation of Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) 2050, held in Lagos, yesterday.
Dr. Peterside who was represented by the Capt. Sunday Umoren, head, maritime safety, NIMASA said the strategy to get to blue economy on the way is securing the Gulf of Guinea.
He said, “The Gulf of Guinea is perceived as not being safe because of the few attacks we have I can assure you that Navy and maritime administration are working hands in hands to secure the Gulf of Guinea. Security issues is actual and perceived and in the real sense of business, perception matters a lot.”
Peterside however disclosed that to achieve the much touted blue economy, strategies must be employed part of which is security and capital development. “Everyone currently is talking about the blue economy, actualization of the dream and there is actually no way you can achieve that dream without having a strategy In place and in a nutshell, this is a strategy of actualizing that dream,” he said.
Stating the strategy, he said “the strategy is that blue economy is actualized in Nigeria. That cannot be done without security in place. Security is the core aspect of actualisation of such plan. So, security and capacity development is key and all encompassing.”
The DG also stated that the committee integrated the indigenous shipowners into the committee in other to actualise their objectives.
“We can’t develop the blue economy without the ship-owners. They are the major asset owners, that is why we are getting them in from the beginning, from the scratch, that is why we are sitting together to discuss the issue, challenge and things to put in place to actualise their dream and I can assure you no better person can actualize the dream than someone that knows where the shoe pinches,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the committee, Hajia Amina Yusuf said the objective of the committee is to develop a National Maritime Strategy (NMS).
Hajia Yusuf who is the director, Navy Affairs in the Ministry of Defense said the AIMS strategy was developed as a response to the high volume of illegal activities that have been in occurrence in Africa’s Maritime Domain (AMD), amounting to both huge losses in revenue and lives.
“The AIM strategy provided a broad framework for the protection and sustainable exploitation of the AMD for wealth creation, which is a direct product of cross cutting inputs from African experts including NGOs, the academia, regional economic communities and AU member states.
“It is structured to address contending, emerging and future maritime challenges and opportunities in Africa. It integrates a plan of action with clearly defined vision and achievable goals, including specific desirable objective” he said.