HomeNewsExpert Calls for Action to Unlock Nigeria’s Trillion-Dollar Maritime Potential

Expert Calls for Action to Unlock Nigeria’s Trillion-Dollar Maritime Potential

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On February 6, 2024, a maritime expert emphasized the imperative for the Federal Government to undertake decisive actions to harness the vast economic opportunities presented by Nigeria’s marine and blue economy. Bolaji Akinola, a distinguished maritime analyst and the CEO of Ships and Ports, articulated this pressing call during a television appearance on TVC, underscoring the challenges and potential solutions for maximizing the sector’s contribution to national economic growth.

Akinola pointed out that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration faces a substantial challenge in achieving its ambitious goal of generating trillion-dollar revenue from the maritime sector. He stressed that to realize this vision, the government must focus on expanding and enhancing key segments of the marine and blue economy, which holds unparalleled prospects for economic advancement and prosperity for the country and its citizens.

With Nigeria’s strategic position along the Guinea coast, the nation enjoys access to an expansive coastline rich in marine resources. Akinola highlighted the untapped potential in areas such as fishing, coastal and international trade, and the fish trawling industry as avenues through which Nigeria could significantly boost its maritime economy. He advocated for strategic interventions to increase Nigerian participation in these sectors, thereby curbing capital flight and fostering local value retention.

The maritime expert also lamented Nigeria’s minimal involvement in inland and coastal shipping, which he identified as a critical area for intervention to correct trade imbalances and stimulate economic growth. He pointed to the substantial revenue losses incurred through international trade, including the export of crude oil and the import of petroleum products and other goods. Akinola revealed that among the approximately 5,000 vessels that enter Nigerian waters annually, none is Nigerian-owned, highlighting a significant opportunity for strategic national involvement in maritime trade.

To tackle these challenges, Akinola called upon the Federal Government and the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy to invest significantly in port infrastructure, streamline regulatory processes, and enhance operational efficiencies. These steps, he argued, are essential for revitalizing Nigeria’s inland and coastal shipping sectors, reducing trade imbalances, and promoting inclusive economic development.

Akinola’s insights serve as a clarion call for urgent and coordinated action to unlock the blue economy’s potential. By adopting targeted strategies to develop the maritime sector, Nigeria can position itself as a significant player in the global maritime industry, thereby achieving its economic objectives and ensuring sustainable development for its populace.

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