Yesterday evening, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, attended a dinner session at the 29th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja. The event was organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.
Commitment to Fixing Challenges
During the session, themed “Sailing to Success: Harnessing Nigeria’s Maritime Potential,” the minister emphasized the ministry’s dedication to addressing the challenges faced by the marine and blue economy sectors. He also expressed the importance of opening up these sectors to private investments and public-private partnerships.
Unlocking Nigeria’s Economic Potential
The minister highlighted the success of private sector participation in the telecoms and power sectors and believes that enabling private sector investments is crucial for unlocking Nigeria’s economic potential in the marine and blue economy sector.
Enhancing Efficiency and Streamlining Operations
Oyetola discussed the government’s plans to enhance efficiency at the ports and establish private sector-led Maritime Development Zones. These zones will provide ancillary services such as wreck removal, wreck recycling, ship building, and ship repairs. The minister also mentioned the implementation of the National Single Window initiative to streamline government agencies operating at the ports and automate port operations through a Port Community System.
The minister emphasized the importance of expanding the domestic shipping fleet by encouraging new shipping lines and enforcing the Cabotage Act more rigorously. He also highlighted the need to improve the navigability of Nigeria’s waters, increase the draughts of ports, achieve 24-48 hours cargo clearance, and ensure efficient road and rail networks connecting the ports to the hinterland.
Oyetola expressed the goal of building a thriving maritime and blue economy sector that significantly contributes to Nigeria’s GDP. He commended the Nigerian Economic Summit Group for their advocacy and efforts in reforming and transforming the country’s economy.