…holds 7-hour brainstorming with maritime stakeholders
In a bid to address the financial burden limiting infrastructural projects in the maritime sector, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, CON, has proposed Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models to transform the sector.
Oyetola disclosed this during an engagement with industry stakeholders today (Tuesday), even as he reassured the Ministry’s commitment to the growth of local shipping, especially in ship construction, maintenance, and repairs.
Speaking at the Ministry’s first Stakeholders’ Roundtable Engagement on Advancing Sustainable Development in Nigeria’s Marine and Blue Economy sector, Oyetola expressed optimism that the recommendations will chart a roadmap that will advance the industry’s potential, promote sustainable investments and ensure global competitiveness.
According to him, a collaborative synergy between the private sector efficiency and the public sector’s oversight, will bring about transformative impact on the marine and blue economy as well as boost the creation of substantial job opportunities and increased trade and investment in the nation.
In a bid to explore the headway for the sector, several roundtable groups were created to discuss Blue Governance; Transforming Port Operations; Enhancing Port Infrastructure; Inland Waterways; Ship building and repairs; among others.
“This Engagement Forum is crucial to the development of the sector as it offers an opportunity for us all to collectively contribute our perspectives, ideas and offer relevant inputs that can propel the sector to the trajectory of success necessary to support the development of the economy as well as meet the expectations of Mr. President who took the courage to open up Nigeria to focus on the Blue Economy value-chain,” he said.
Oyetola observed that although the Ministry is new, it will not rest on its oars, while he also pledged to foster inter-agency collaboration and implement initiatives to promote port efficiency, cargo shipment, maritime security and tap into the resources of the seabed.
“The Ministry’s decision to consider the re-establishment of a National Shipping Line, through a strategic PPP arrangement, is borne out of our desire to capture a substantial share of the estimated $10 billion annual ship charter market within the country.”
“This initiative will not seek to impede the growth of local players but rather to provide an avenue for them to create and extract more value from the sector, especially through ship construction, maintenance, and repairs. This would enable our local businesses to better leverage the Carbotage Act, which gives Nigerians the exclusive right to control locally generated seaborne trade,” he said.
Like the Blue Economy Minister, News Diet correspondent also sat through 6-hour laborious brainstorming exercise and will publish some of the intriguing views and recommendations of the respective roundtable groups in the next few days.
The Chief Executives and top directors of all agencies under the Ministry were present and private sector stakeholders ranging from ship-owners to freight forwarders, barge operators to manning agents, ship chandlers to marine engineers, maritime lawyers to master mariners, among others.