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Blue Economy: All Stakeholders Are Being Carried Along – Oyetola


The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, His Excellency, Hon Adegboyega Oyetola CON has said that every segment of the maritime industry and their stakeholders are given the opportunity to contribute to processes that will drive the nation’s blue economy.

Direcvtor Oyetomi, representing the HMOMBE

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This is even as he assured that the marine industry will witness the expected and rapid transformation in the shortest possible time under his watch on the strength of the clear and directive of President Bola Tinubu; who he explained is determined to turn around the fortune of the maritime domain.

Oyetola who gave above assurances while delivering a keynote address at the just concluded Annual Retreat/Silver Jubilee Anniversary of the League of Maritime Editors (LOME) held last Thursday at the Lagos Travels Inn, Ikeja, Lagos, explained that in view of the criticality of transforming the blue economy ideas into reality, the ministry have since taken steps into adequately getting all the agencies under it key into the mandate.

Chief Okorocha, presenting his welcome address

The minister who was represented by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Olujimi Oyetomi noted further that the success of the blue economy is the business of everyone, and urged members of LOME to continue to project the industry in good light as a long standing ally of the ministry and industry.

“I should describe the theme for your Silver Jubilee Anniversary: ‘Harnessing Nigeria’s Potential in Marine & Blue Economy/The New Customs 2023 Act And its implication on Trade’ as apt because it will afford this august gathering the opportunity to examine the contributions of the Marine and Blue Economy Sector to trade, commercial development and growth of our nation’s economy.

“This is also the basis of the ministerial deliverables given by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR to me and my ministry.  We have since taken steps to involve all the agencies under the Ministry to key into this mandate.

“I must admit that my Ministry has been enjoying a symbiotic relationship with the Maritime Editors with agenda-setting for the maritime sector of which my Ministry is the leading Policy making body.  I wish to add that most of the suggestions of the Maritime Editors were received in good faith by the Management of the Ministry of which I am a principal figure.

“Even though I am a pioneer minister specifically for the Sector, I have set up machinery and structures for the Sector and made all principal actors and agencies irrevocably key into realizing the potential of the Sector for job creation, social development, increased contributions to national growth and economic development”, adding:

“I have given my commitment to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR and the nation that the Marine and Blue Economy Sector will witness a rapid transformation within the shortest possible time.”

Speaking further and particularly addressing the maritime editors, he said, “Your suggestions and recommendations whenever you evaluate the industry at the policy-making level, sometimes receive your suggestions from critical perspectives.  However, we do not fail to distil and apply the best of your suggestions, thus leading to plausible progress in policy application in the maritime sector.

“It is on the earlier mentioned bases that I challenge your League to be patriotic and realistic when setting agenda not just for those at the policy-making level but also for the agencies, noting the ever-present challenges to a sector which has not taken the front stage of attention in the past, but which we are all trying to bring up to be at par with developments in many of the frontline maritime and blue economy nations of the world.

“I submit that the partnership between the League of Maritime Editors and my Ministry is such that we will cherish and wish to nurture it to an all-time high as much as time, resources and other policy determinants will allow us.”

Earlier in his welcome address, LOME President, Chief Timothy Okorocha while highlighting critical nexus that must be nurtured and sustained also commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his interest in the sector; and urged him to do more to ensure that the blue economy becomes a critical index of his administration’s scorecard by muscling the needed political will to drive the disbursement of the long awaited Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF).

Okorocha said, “As serious minders of the maritime industry, conversant with its official, operational and evolutionary changes and progress in the past 25 years, permit me to on behalf of the League congratulate President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the unbundling of the Transportation Ministry and the establishment of the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.

“The League salutes Mr. President’s bold steps and visionary outlook, and do hereby with utmost respect urge him to exercise the required political will to push farther by ensuring that the often routine talk about the rehabilitation of collapsed critical port infrastructure receives urgent executive attention.

“As development partners, the League looks forward to the effective participation of the respective agencies in the current administration’s renewed agenda template; and want to see the Nigerian Ports Authority move away from the ritual of endless talk and lamentations into doing the needful, the reconstruction of broken down asset and infrastructure.

“The League further urges President Tinubu to provide the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Hon. Adegboyega Oyetola and his ministry, the needed impetus to bring to an end, the unending rat race on the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, CVFF, established since 2003; to jump start a new lease of life for the capacity development of our indigenous ship-owners, and to enable Nigeria participate meaningfully in our seaborne trade; especially with the proposed commencement of the implementation policy of the blue economy.”

He continued: “As insiders, the League over the years has seen the genuine struggle by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and its leadership, especially under the present administration to disburse the CVFF in its commitment to grow local capacity building, but observe the otherwise disruptive tendencies within the field of political play.

“We appeal to Mr. President to use his good office to prevail on the relevant authorities to respond to the needs of our industry as there can be no better time than now. The League is aware of His Excellency’s important pioneering task of positioning the new ministry into achieving industry specific growth projections; we want to assure you Sir, that the League and maritime media in general will work with you and your ministry, and agencies under your purview.

Prince Olayiwola Shittu receiving a Special Recognition Award at the League of Maritime Editors’ 25th Anniversary Ceremony in Lagos on Thursday

“The League wants to urge you Sir, to be more sector specific in your programmes and to crave depth as you pursue the implementation of the blue economy by engaging and partnering with stakeholders as at when necessary, to avoid creating gaps.

“Standing on both sides of the divide, we want to respectfully inform you that industry stakeholders and Nigerians at large look up to you to be more of a doer than a sayer; a path your predecessor vigorously explored during his short but eventful stint to the joy of port users.


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