The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has stated that the maritime industry is pivotal to Nigeria’s attainment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), saying Nigeria should put in place deliberate measures for the optimal utilisation of its enormous maritime potential.
Sanwo-Olu said this in Lagos on Thursday on the occasion of the 2020 World Maritime Day, with the theme: Sustainable Shipping for Sustainable Planet.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, commended the Federal Government for its plan to move containers across the country with barges, stressing that it would bring about more efficiency and ease pressure on the roads.
“The theme of this year’s World Maritime Day, Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet, is apt and timely when we need to pay rapt attention to making our shipping process more environmental friendly. It is also coming at a time when we need to support the maritime industry to contribute its quota to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development by 2030,” he said.
“We need to optimise the potential of the maritime industry by utilising our waterways to transport goods and services from one destination to another locally. In respect of this, I must commend the Federal Government for the plan to begin transportation of containers from Lagos to Onitsha through barges and subsequently, to other parts of the country.”
In his keynote address, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, acknowledged the security challenge in the country’s waters and called for synergy among stakeholders in tackling the problem.
Speaking also at the occasion, the NIMASA boss, Dr. Jamoh, restated the Federal government’s commitment to the security of the country’s marine environment through the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also known as the Deep Blue Project. He said over 85 per cent of the assets needed for the project’s full take-off had arrived the country, stressing that the training process for officers that would man the various equipment is being concluded.
He added: “The determination of the Agency to ensure sustainable use of the seas and oceans is clearly demonstrated by our establishment in 2008 of a specialised department in charge of marine environment management.