President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that his government is working on plans to widen 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.
Buhari was the Special Guest of Honor 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.
Mr. Jamoh reiterated that 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.
Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation who represented 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.
He further stated that this move, 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).”
The Minister commended NIMASA for its efforts in repositioning the maritime sector and for its huge contributions to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the country. He stated that 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.