BY YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos
The director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has stated that the nation’s ocean’s resources are rich enough to sustain the economy of Nigeria as most countries with maritime – based economy.
Dakuku, who said this over the weekend to commemorate the Word Ocean Day also charged stakeholders on the need to celebrate the ocean, its importance in the life of the nation, and on how economic diversification can be achieved for sustainable growth and development.
In a press statement by the deputy director, Public Relation, Isichie Osamgbi and a copy made available to LEADERSHIP, the NIMASA DG 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 all depend on.
Like most great maritime nations, he pointed out that the “time has come for all hands to be on deck and support the federal government’s efforts in tapping into the blue economy and develop it to such a level that it can contribute far more greatly as projected.”
Dakuku further observed 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 strive greatly on their oceans as the bedrock of their economy, and with about 90 per cent of world trade being done by sea and shipping, it was time Nigeria began 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,” the DG said.
While stating that the issue of climate change and marine environment degradation was of concern to the nation and international community, he assured that NIMASA on its part would continue to lend its voice in support of the advocacy and drive, which would further guarantee and compliment government’s ease of doing business initiative.
Peterside reiterated that the agency was open to all forms of partnerships that can help the growth and development of the Nigerian maritime sector, in line with the economic diversification agenda of government.