•Seeks sustainable blue economy to alleviate poverty
In order to cushion the effect of COVID-19, the Federal Government has created a N1 trillion loan facility to boost local manufacturing and production across critical sectors as part of efforts to restore stability to the nation’s economy.
Speaking at the 2020 World Maritime Day celebration at the weekend in Lagos, with the theme, “Sustainable Shipping For Sustainable Planet,” the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Princess Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire, said there was also creation of N100 billion target credit facility for affected households and small and medium enterprises through the NIRSAL Microfinance bank.
According to her, the creation of a N100 billion intervention fund in loans to pharmaceutical companies and healthcare practitioners intending to expand and strengthen the capacity of the nation’s healthcare institutions. However, she called for further collaboration for sustainable partnership on projects in various sectors of the blue economy for economic growth, poverty alleviation and conservation of the resources for present and future generations.
Adefulire pointed out that the maritime sector, which is a huge and growing industrial sector should remain safe and secured and not be a threat to the Nigeria’s environment.
She added: “Thus, we must capitalise on our available local resources and invest in infrastructure and machinery that would be economically and physically resilient in line with the aspirations of SDGs 7, 9, 13 and 14. Indeed, Nigeria is blessed with natural resources in water and soil, which in nature, are free and abundant. We need to utilise our resources optimally to counter balance the effects of climate change by turning our problems into opportunities, as one natural innovation carries various benefits for all.”
She said it has become pertinent to pay close attention to the nation’s untapped local potentials to solve and provide basic needs to all by turning waste to wealth for sustainable consumption and production, using integrated and individual nature of the SDGs. The presidential aide added that with the COVID-19 pandemic, global blue economy sectors including travels, tourism, maritime transport, Fisheries and seafood production, were heavily impacted, adding that the sector accounts for about 3.5 to 7 per cent of global GDP.
Meanwhile, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who reiterated the agency’s commitment to free Nigerian waters from all maritime related crimes called for more support and collaboration of security agencies to tackle the problem of insecurity.