Buhari: FG to Reposition Maritime Sector for Economic Diversification

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• Lake Chad has enough resource to compete with riverine areas, says Buratai
Eromosele Abiodun

President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that the federal government is working on plans to reposition the country’s maritime sector to take a leading position as one of the viable alternate sources of revenue in growing the economy as part of its resolve to continuously diversify the Nigerian economy.

The president who was the Special Guest of Honour at a public book presentation titled: “Harnessing Nigeria’s Maritime Assets – Past, Present and Future,” authored by the Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Bashir Jamoh, said there was no change without pain, hence the need for Nigerians to keep faith with the federal government’s determination to rejuvenate the Nigerian economy.

This was just as the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai stated that the Lake Chad holds enough resource to compete with those of the riverine areas in the country.
Burutai who said the Nigerian Army was doing everything possible to end the insurgency in the North-east called on maritime experts to join hands with the government to harness the resources in the region.

Represented by the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the president noted that Nigeria had relied so much on crude oil, stressing that it was time to focus on other sources particularly the blue economy which covers both aquatic and marine spaces including oceans, seas, coasts, lakes, rivers and underground waters.

This, he added, also encompasses a range of productive sectors – fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, transport, ship building, energy, bio-prospecting, under-water mining and related activities, all pointing towards economic prosperity, when adequately harnessed.
“We know that the maritime sector has so much to offer the economy in terms of jobs and wealth creation and also contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). On our part as a government, we are determined to walk the talk so that our economic diversification initiative will be fully achieved for the benefit of all Nigerians, ”the President said.

He commended NIMASA for its efforts in repositioning the maritime sector and for its huge contributions to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the country
The president stated further that there is a new NIMASA, adding that the agency has been transformed to being alive to its maritime regulatory and promotional mandates.
Commenting on the book, he noted that it is a document that should be given adequate consideration as it speaks to the authority and other stakeholders in the maritime sector.
Speaking further he said the Federal Ministry of Transportation understands stakeholders’ yearnings for the urgent review on the guidelines of the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds (CVFF), and called for an immediate meeting in his office to find a lasting solution to it.