In a concerted effort to ensure that they achieve set goals and objectives, indigenous ship owners have placed critical issues plaguing the sustainable development of the maritime sector of the Nigeria economy on the front burner.
This is coming on the heels of the fact recently made public by the global maritime watchdog, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) that cargo carried by sea across the globe is set to quadruple by 2050.
To ensure that that they get help where it matters, the indigenous ship operators under the auspices of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) hosted a roundtable with the theme “The Future of the Maritime Industry in Nigeria” in conjunction with the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) at Marlborough House, London, United Kingdom.
Hosted as part of CWEIC’s Commonwealth Maritime Initiative (CMI) which aims to promote the maritime industry as a key driver of economic growth and trade as well as connect maritime business interests with state-level representatives and organisations from across the Commonwealth.
Though the initial focus is on Nigeria, the initiative is expected to expand to other member countries of the Commonwealth. The CMI is focussed on maximising commercial opportunities in an industry that has often suffered from chronic underinvestment.
The event brought together investors, business leaders and government officials – representing maritime interests from across the Commonwealth – in a bid to stimulate discussion, increase co-operation and forge partnerships around the myriad opportunities of Nigeria’s maritime sector.
The focus on Nigeria at the Commonwealth roundtable in London is understandable. Besides her status as Africa’s largest economy and its huge maritime ecosystem, Nigeria’s 850 kilometres coastline and 8,600 kilometres of inland waterways remains the second longest in Africa.
CWEIC hopes to expand the maritime initiative across the Commonwealth, highlighting further maritime investment opportunities across the many developing, coastal economies within the 53 nations collective.