• Friday, May 24, 2024
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How to unlock blue economy potential – Akinola

How to unlock blue economy potential – Akinola

Bolaji Akinola, a maritime analyst and CEO of Ships and Ports, has called on the Federal Government to take concrete and deliberate measures to unlock the abundant economic potential inherent in the nation’s marine and blue economy sector.

According to him, taking deliberate measures to develop the sector will enable the country to realise the much-anticipated billions of dollars in revenue.

Speaking during a recent live conversation on the television programme, Akinola said Nigeria is blessed with an extensive coastline that boosts abundant marine resources with immense potential for its economic growth.

Read also: Blue economy to generate $20bn annually, creates 2m jobs – Oyetola

He identified fishing as one of the low-hanging fruits and an area the government has to look into and harness.

“We need to look at how to get more Nigerian fishing trawlers into the fishing business to stem capital flight and retain value locally,” he said.

He decried the negligible participation of Nigeria in the inland and coastal shipping and called for an effort to rectify the trade imbalances and foster economic development.

“Nigeria loses a lot of money from international trade, the movement of crude oil out of the country, the importation of petroleum product into this country, and the importation of many other goods into this country,” he said.

Citing an example, Akinola said that an average of about 5,000 vessels from statistics come to Nigeria annually and none of these vessels belong to Nigerians.

He however called for a strategic plan to ensure that within the lifespan of this administration, Nigerians can do 10 percent of the total vessels that visit the country.

On how the Federal Government and the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy can address the lingering challenges, he called for huge investment in port infrastructure, streamlining of regulatory processes, and improving operational efficiencies.

Read also: How Nigeria can tap into $2.5trn global blue economy potential – Jamoh

He added that such measures will enable Nigeria to revive its inland and coastal shipping sector, reduce trade imbalances, and promote inclusive economic growth.