The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has in partnership with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) begun the push for mainstreaming of maritime transportation into the national economic plan of countries in West and Central African region.
This was the focal point of a regional workshop held in Lagos on Monday, on United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework with special focus on mainstreaming the maritime transportation into the National Economic Plans of African countries.
Declaring the workshop open, Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation said Nigeria and many other maritime states in the region, have dedicated considerable attention in recent years to the development, drafting and implementation of national and regional strategies to give expression to the Sustainable Development Goal.
Amaechi, who was represented by Dakuku Peterside, director general of NIMASA said Nigeria is already working on Maritime Transport Plan and Strategy, which when completed, will provide robust enabling framework for achieving Nigerian Maritime Objectives.
“More importantly, the Maritime Transport Plan and Strategy will foster public-private sector collaboration and inter-regional cooperation on sustainable development across the continent,” he said.
Amaechi described the workshop as an essential step in continuing shift in strategic thinking about the sustainable development of nations, and will no doubt, provide an opportunity for stakeholders present at the workshop to develop the much needed cooperation framework in addressing the sustainable development goals.
He however stated that in the push for the phase 11 negotiations for the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), that maritime sector remains critical to seamless trade and effective economic integration between African nations.
Earlier in his welcome address as the host, Peterside, said that African leaders need to understand the critical roles maritime transportation plays in economic development and in facilitation of economic growth.
“We have identified where we want to be as a nation. And we accepted to host this workshop because we want to help our leaders to understand the critical and strategic role maritime transportation can play in facilitating economic growth. And also understand why it is important to mainstream maritime in the economic plan,” he said.