According to Adegboyega Oyetola, Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Nigeria has developed strategies to revitalize the maritime sector that address issues including security, human capital development, climate action, and management of the marine environment.
According to a statement issued by his spokesperson, Ismail Omipidan, the minister made these remarks on Monday when speaking to IMO member nations during the organization’s 33rd General Assembly in London.
This occurs as IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim praised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for establishing the ministry, citing the strategic and forward-thinking nature of the plan.
Oyetola claims that the new ministry has made great headway towards establishing a more forward-thinking and vibrant maritime industry.
Oyetola stated: “We have started the process of creating a framework that will guarantee short-, medium-, and long-term results to realign the maritime industry in order to accomplish the goals of economic growth and development set forth by the new administration.”
“In terms of national security endeavors, Nigeria has persistently pursued tangible measures to establish the requisite legal and institutional structure to maintain the achievements made in guaranteeing maritime safety within her maritime jurisdiction.”
“In this context, it is important to highlight the passing of the Suppression of Piracy and Other Offences Act, which strengthens the legal framework, as well as the deployment of the Integrated National Surveillance and Waterways Protection Solution, also referred to as “the Deep Blue Project,” which, with its command and control infrastructure, further improves maritime security.”
In cooperation with member states, stakeholders, and the IMO, he claimed that the aforementioned initiative had continued to strengthen Nigeria’s maritime security architecture and contributed to the notable decline in the number of security incidents in Nigerian waters and the larger Gulf of Guinea.
Oyetola stated that Nigeria had been resolute in fulfilling its treaty obligations in the field of marine environment management and he was pleased to announce the ratification of six maritime conventions and protocols that will further advance the cause of a cleaner maritime environment, ship-breaking standards, international standards for fishing crews, and response to oil pollution casualties.
Regarding climate action and the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) commitment to the worldwide battle against climate change, the Minister stated that Nigeria was dedicated to collaborating with other member states in carrying out the plan.
“Nigeria observes the MEPC 80's adoption of the 2023 strategy on Greenhouse Gas emissions, which exemplified the spirit of friendship, compromise, and consensus among member states,” Oyetola stated.
He went on to say that Nigeria continues to prioritize the training of its seafarers through the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), a national cadetship program, in the area of human capacity development.
The minister stated that Nigeria has been training native seafarers as part of this strategy in order to increase its capability and strengthen its contribution to the development of the global seafarer pool and workforce, with a focus on female seafarers.
According to him, the Federal Government has taught 2,476 cadets in a variety of professions at prestigious maritime universities throughout the globe since the NSDP program’s launch.
“To reform the business environment, we have continued to implement a broad-based
agenda to improve the Nigerian maritime operating environment for commerce to thrive and
be driven through inter-agency collaboration and cooperation with the private sector With
technical support from IMO, we have initiated the development of a Port Community System
(PCS) to create an effective and efficient port community system.
“Currently, we have ensured interconnectivity of operations of the relevant agencies to
create seamless cargo clearance processes and procedures to further enhance and simplify
cross-border trade,” Oyetola concluded.