By Kenneth Jukpor
The immediate-past Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has charged the newly inagurated Blue Economy Coordinating Group to explore strategies to attract investment, deepen wealth creation and employment opportunities in the sector.
Dakuku, who was speaking while inaugurating the Coordinating Group yesterday, noted that the private sector driven initiative is an acknowledgment that government alone cannot achieve the vision of a vibrant Blue Economy sector that addresses the issue of sustainable development without the private sector .
He stressed that the responsibility of optimizing the benefits of the Blue Economy is a shared one between the government, private sector, civil society, communities, professionals, and other actors.
“Robust partnership by all actors has proven to be the master key to unlocking the line benefits of sustainable development of the Blue Economy. The private sector is uniquely positioned to market the potentials and attract investments to the Blue Economy sector and create limitless opportunities for us especially in employment, protection of our communities and wealth creation,” Dakuku said.
Noting that the Blue Economy is a new frontier that requires more understanding and further studies on how to integrate all sub sectors, he posited that professionals and private sector players are better suited to lead the research and advocacy.
“It is time to set a coherent National agenda for the nation to benefit from our coastal endowment. Everything about the blue economy is about collaboration. This group exist to drive collaboration and integration , promote the sector and champion a coordinated approach to the pursuit of blue economy agenda.”
“I am glad that some government agencies, multi- lateral and financial institutions have already expressed willingness to partner with this group to advance the beneficial impact of Blue Economy. This is a historic assignment that will redefine our economic direction in the days ahead,” Dakuku added.
The Group is chaired by a former Director at NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka, while other members include; the Managing Director, Mr. Ojiji Oniri, a former NIMASA Director General, Barr. Temisan Omatseye, President of African Women in Maritime (WIMAFRICA), Mrs. Jean-Chiazor Anishere (SAN), HRM Munir Ja’afaru, Senator Grace Folashade Brent (CON).
Other members are; a Nigerian Navy Commodore, Cdre. Daniel Atakpa, Chief Michael Onuoha, and two Executive Directors of the company; Alhaji Suleiman Adama and Alhaji Dikko Tahir Bala.
Speaking at the virtual event, the Group’s Chairperson, Hajia Lami Tamaka said the Group is the culmination of the enormous collective effort of the innovative Board of Directors of the Company, the Blue Economy Resources Nigeria Limited which began some months ago.
According to her, it is a private company registered duely under Nigerian laws, stating that “Our company is in business to provide be-spoke innovations tailored towards facilitating maritime business-friendly solutions to the challenges in the emerging blue economy sector of Nigeria.”
“We are poised to be Nigeria’s leading blue economy business anchor with our focus on the efficiency of our maritime policies/laws, Blue Economy capacity building, strategic public-private partnerships in cargo affreightment, infrastructure development, marine environment management, inter-modal transportation, marine bio-technology, ocean energy and increased indigenous cabotage participation.”
“It is for the realization of the above corporate objectives that the Board considered and approved the constitution of a Coordinating Group with proven track records of achievement drawn from various fields across the maritime sector. The Group is working with the Board of Directors as advisors and partners to among others, bring the Blue Economy Advocacy to the front burner of government, the Organized Private Sector and critical stakeholders,” she said.
Tumaka assured that the Group will establish networking platforms to engage critical stakeholders including the Honourable Minister of Transportation, the Heads of maritime agencies, ship owning associations, barge/boat operators, oil and gas players, maritime workers, marine environment managers and community groups.
“The idea being to sensitize and enlighten them on our vision and mission for the industry and ultimately their support and buy-in. I would like to seize this opportunity to express my profound appreciation to all the members of the Coordinating Group for accepting our nominations to serve,” she added.
While giving the vote of thanks, Mrs. Jean-Chiazor Anishere stressed that the vision of the Group is to be the leading conglomerate promoting national development, economic growth and sustainability through the Blue Economy Resources Nigeria, but that cannot be achieved without the participation of all and sundry.
“Our mission to build capacities, engage policy makers, implement action plans, create business and investment opportunities by facilitating strategic decisions and partnerships on maritime environment management and resource efficiency, is open to all,” Anishere said, even as she thanked all the representatives of maritime bodies/ organizations at the online summit.