The Chairman of the Nigerian Maritime Exposition (NIMAREX) 2015, and the former Head of State, His Excellency Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, GCFR, represented by Rtd. Admiral Samuel Afolayan has assured that he will advise the new government to consider the communique expected to be arrived at from the conference of the Expo with the view of adopting the main issues, so as to assist in the efforts to re-focus the economy for national prosperity.
Gen. Abdulsalami made this statement in his opening address at the 3day event of the 5th Edition of NIMAREX, in Lagos, with the theme: NIGERIA: Regenerating Economic Growth Through the Maritime Sector.
According to him “the quest by NIMAREX to showcase the enormous potentials of Nigeria as a maritime nation is a welcome development and I am convinced that a lot of impact and useful suggestions under the road map will be made at the end of this Expo.
“it makes sense that the economy of Nigeria must be greatly influenced by the shipping activities within our maritime domain since more than 80 percent of the external commerce in Nigeria including oil and gas are borne sea transport.
Speaking earlier, the Acting President of the Nigerian Indigenous Ship owners Association (NISA), Mr. Aminuumar, represented by the Secretary General, Mr. Tunji Brown stated that the maritime industry has been identified as the key alternative to national dependence on oil revenue.
He stressed that NIMAREX will provide a good opportunity to achieve sustained growth in the maritime sector, premised on a clear, concise and measureable strategic interventions that will serve as the blueprint for engineering the sector into a growth catalyst that will enable the transformation of Nigeria into a maritime power.
In his words “with the current global financial meltdown and its effect on crude oil prices in the international market, perhaps this is the right time for Nigeria to start looking at alternative source of attracting foreign exchange to the country and if we assume that the country earns over 100 billion dollars yearly from oil exports and 10 percent of that represents freight element, this translates to over 10 billion dollars earned by foreign vessels under our trade policy.
“We are really worried by this trend and I believe that with the right policy and the support of existing legislation, Nigerians can indeed have a right of first refusal in its domestic borne trade.”
In his welcome address, the Chairman, NIMAREX 2015 Planning Committee, Prince AyorindeAdedoyin, specifiedthat NIMAREX 2015 is targeted towards not only enhancing the economic fortunes of Nigeria through deliberate exploitation of the huge maritime resources of the country but also at throwing up challenges for the policy makers, private sector and all stakeholders in the Commonwealth to beam search light on the maritime sector as a possible purveyor of economic regeneration.
Similarly, in his keynote address, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello expressed the need for the economic potential of the maritime industry to translate to growth employment and infrastructure,
He therefore, called on the government to make conscious and concerted effort to establish the industry and provide the necessary environment for investors, so that the industry can make the expected contribution to the rest of the economy.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Morbod Fisheries Limited, Barr. Margaret Orakwusi, during her presentation of the NIMAREX Book, titled 100 Years Of Maritime Development In Nigeria stated that the book comprises of all the activities and deliberations of NIMAREX the previous year and urged all stakeholders to see the need to have a copy.