By Steve Agbota
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has sought the wider participation of relevant stakeholders in the nation’s blue economy project to deepen participation and benefits of Nigerians from the country’s marine resources.
Osinbajo made the call at the inaugural meeting of an Expanded Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria at the Presidential Villa on Monday.
The VP said a viable blue economy project will offer a vista of opportunities not only for littoral states where there are bodies of waters but for the entire country.
He identified areas to be exploited to include ports, terminals, fishing, training, environment, tourism, power, oil and gas.
While identifying possible challenges of sustainability, the Vice President urged all the ministries, departments and agencies to strengthen their collaborations in an atmosphere of inter ministerial working groups and advised all members to attend the meetings faithfully for maximum results.
Osinbajo, who formally inaugurated the expanded committee, identified the need for a legal framework that will be more robust than other international maritime conventions on blue economy which Nigeria has been signatory to.
He said the scope and participation of the committee will be further improved upon to accommodate more members from government agencies and relevant private sector stakeholders
Osinbajo said: “There is no doubt that the blue economy is a new frontier for economic development and a means of diversifying the economy through the use of resources from oceans,seas, rivers and lakes for the well being of the people. It also provides positive contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) 2052 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (2052AIM) and the UN 2030 agenda.
“This concept for economic diversification is promoted by the international community and provides friendly means of livelihood in line with this administration’s agenda on job creation. The ocean economy as an emerging economic frontier applies to ocean based industry activities and the assets,goods and services of marine ecosystems.