Lawmakers Urge FG to Tap into Potential $1.8tn Global Blue Economy

Juliet Akoje in Abuja

Senators and members of the House of Representatives yesterday urged the Minister of Blue Economy, Chief Adegboyega Oyetola on the need for Nigeria to tap into the $1.8 trillion blue economy potential and improve on revenue generation through the maritime industry.

The lawmakers during the 2024 budget defence held by the joint Committees on Ports & Harbours and other Standing Committees  expressed regrets over the report on the loss of over N1 trillion revenue due to poor infrastructure in the maritime industry.

They frowned on the non-provision of funds in the 2024 budget proposal, called for acquisition and installation of scanners at various ports as part ongoing efforts geared toward making the nation’s ports competitive.

Oyetola while speaking explained that the total capital appropriated for Marine related programmes in 2023 was N777 million, out of which N448,027,468 has been utilised as at the end of November, 2023.

“From the sum of N382,185,472 which was appropriated for overhead expenditure, N254,790,314.70 was released as at 29th November, 2023. In the proposed 2024 budget proposal, the Ministry proposed N10,781,130,916 as total capital budget while the sum of N191,086,917 as overhead expenditure,” he said.

He further disclosed the ministry’s plans to dredge some of the existing ports while efforts are being intensified to build new ports in various locations across the country, including Badagry in Lagos State and Ondo State.

Oyetola, while admitting that shippers divert vessels to neighbouring countries,  stressed the need for adequate funding for the dredging of various ports so as to enable them to take big vessels.

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