By Kenneth Jukpor
The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has identified marine environment management as a crucial factor that enables the maritime sector to contribute to national economic growth.
According to the Transport Minister, a clean and safe marine environment is the bedrock that ensures the entire maritime industry contributes significantly to the growth of a nation.
Amaechi made this claim while making a keynote address during Dr. Felicia Mogo’s formal exit from Public Service and the launch of her book in Lagos, on Friday.
The former Director, Marine Environment Management Department at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Felicia Mogo launched an industry book titled: “Regulating the Marine Environment of Africa for Sustainable Blue Economy – the Nigerian Scenario,” to celebrate her exit from public service.
Amaechi who participated virtually, said: “Maritime is key to national development and we can’t talk about this without the marine environment. It is in this area that Dr. Mogo has made impressive records with over two decades spent trying to make reforms in environmental assessment, especially for the oil and gas sector.”
Noting that the usual fear of most public servants is the uncertainty of life after service, the Minister stressed that the basic thing is the contribution attained during one’s service years.
“Dr. Mogo has an impressive and well documented record which is why we are celebrating her today. She is an environmentalist and her pedigree has been evident on the global terrain where she has represented Nigeria and NIMASA admirably. You can’t conclude the functions of NIMASA or talk about maritime without talking about environmental issues and you can’t ignore the contribution of Dr. Mogo in that area,” he added.
Amaechi stated that the Transport Ministry and the maritime sector were proud of Mogo’s contributions in Marine Environment Management, noting that the industry will better appreciate her efforts now that she has exited public service.
Earlier, the chairperson of the occasion, Dr. Anne Ene-Ita stressed that it is imperative for the government to fully explore the potentials of the blue economy, noting that giving credence to Dr. Mogo’s book will be a good way to show commitment to the sector.
The former Senior Special Adviser to the President on Aviation Reforms described Mogo as a national asset and a global personality on marine environment management.
“Dr. Mogo has been an energetic and enterprising young woman since her maiden employment in the Federal Ministry of Works. This book is worth having and we need to disseminate the book at secondary and tertiary levels to get young ones involved in maritime,” she said.
The High Commissioner of Kenya to Nigeria, Dr Wilfred G. Machage also graced the occasion where he posited that Dr. Mogo wasn’t only an asset to Nigeria but the African continent at large.
His words: “There’s nothing more gratifying than sharing knowledge with a generation of young leaders who will be taking up similar roles as Dr. Mogo in both public and private sectors. Even upon her exit from public service, Dr. Mogo joins the coveted list of our celebrated scholars in the field of marine science and we all know that intellectuals are paragon of virtues and the cream of intelligentsia in all societies.”
According to him, the book will serve as a repertoire of knowledge which will be an asset especially for those who are in the field of environmental science, marine ecology and general field of environmental studies.
“This important book acknowledges the importance of marine environment and ecosystem as a life-support system for supplying resources that support livelihoods and economic development. African’s Agenda 2063 has identified the blue economy as the next to frontier to facilitate rapid economic transformation of the continent and of seeing the livelihoods of the present and future generations in a continent where 38 out of 55 countries are coastal states and collectively encompass vast ocean territories of an estimated 13million km,” he said.
During her 34 years of public service, Dr. Mogo served in various capacities in agencies, ministries and various international avenues contributing to the protection of Nigeria’s environment and giving the country recognition on the international level.
The ex-NIMASA Director said the book is a product of her wealth of experience over the years in Nigeria’s marine environment.
Her words: “I have had the opportunity to incubate insights about stewarding our resources for sustainable development. Specifically, I have spent considerable time reflecting on Nigeria’s marine environment which holds enormous potential for our sustainable growth as a nation, and yet remains understated.”
“For over ten years, I have toyed with the idea of documenting my ideas on how to optimize Nigeria’s marine environment for the benefit of its entire population. I am glad to have finally made this idea a reality via this book.”
Commenting on the book, the President, Strategic Operations and Sediment Management Tipping Point Resources Group, United States, Professor Eric. A. Stern said; “I must commend the author for how the book succinctly evaluates and proffers practical solutions on innovatively deploying institutional and regulatory approaches in Nigeria’s marine environment and actualizing a pan-African blue economy pathway.”
He advised and encouraged government, policymakers, legislators, academics, private sector participants, development practitioners and partners, civil society and the media to avail themselves the wealth of knowledge the book offers.