Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola has recommended the establishment of a national carrier through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement for freight transport in the country.
This was even as he expressed determination to reposition the maritime sector for the welfare and wellbeing of Nigerians in line with President Bola Tinibu’s ‘Renewed Hope Agenda.’
The minister stated this during a facility tour of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency’s Headquarters, her Skill Acquisition Center, Search and Rescue Base Clinic, Maritime Resource Center and others in Lagos.
Speaking on his determination to change the narrative in the maritime sector by putting in place measures that would make Nigeria a major player, Oyetola said it was daunting to note that Nigeria bears the singularity of being the only Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries ( OPEC) member with no national line that bears its country’s flag.
The minister in a statement issued yesterday, in Abuja, by the Director, Press of the ministry, Henshaw Ogubike, observed that the establishment of a national carrier would put paid to the 30 per cent freight charge used to charter vessels.
The minister was however quick to draw out that his call for a national line should not be misrepresented as a call for the re-establishment of the moribund Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL).
Speaking further, he admitted on his interest in NIMASA’s Modular Floating Dock due to the fact that it has the capacity to generate jobs and stem capital flight. He however, called on the Agency to explore the buy-in of stakeholders.
Speaking on the potential of the Blue Economy to the nation, the Minister stated that the economy of Barbados was purely dependent on tourism and Nigeria with one of the largest wetland in the world would be ideal for harnessing of coastal tourism, noting that fishing and other elements with potential to grow the economy would be explored.
Earlier, the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Bashir Jamoh, thanked President Bola Tinubu for creating a stand-alone Ministry for the maritime sector, stating that this had always been clamoured by stakeholders and Nigerians.
Jamoh said with the creation of the Marine and Blue Economy, Nigeria now joins seven other countries in the world that have stand-alone Blue Economy Minstry. He assured that with this development, NIMASA was better positioned to maintain and put Nigeria on the global sphere.