In bilateral talks with ministers and representatives from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Brazil, and Jamaica, Adegboyega Oyetola, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, expressed Nigeria’s interest in learning from these countries about how to establish coast guards to protect the nation’s waterways and maritime space.
According to a release, Oyetola also had bilateral discussions with officials from Greece, Qatar, and Mexico while in London, United Kingdom for the 33rd General Assembly session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
In the meeting with Adm José Augusto V. da Cunha de Menezes, the Brazilian Chief of the Navy’s General Staff, Oyetola stated that Nigeria would like to observe how the Brazilian coast guards operate because the ministry wants to establish one of its own to better secure the waterways and maritime space.
“Deepening the security architecture inside the maritime area will be necessary as we proceed to grow and improve the sector’s operations. To further safeguard our marine zone, we are thinking of establishing coast guards, and we think they will be a good addition to the current security framework,” he stated.
In order to expand the marine and blue economy, Oyetola added, Nigeria also concentrates on industries like marine renewable energy, marine mining, subsea cabling and piping, marine genetics, and biotechnology.
The minister stated that technology and innovation are essential for enhancing Nigeria’s trade and investment opportunities within the Marine and Blue Economy, even as he expressed the country’s aim to harness technology to revolutionize the marine sector.
According to him, the implementation of cutting-edge marine technology, such as smart logistics solutions and innovations in maritime logistics, will greatly improve the sustainability and effectiveness of port operations and maritime transport, hence increasing the competitiveness of Nigerian ports on a worldwide scale.
Oyetola also met Saleh bin Nasser AIJasser, the minister in charge of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and Saida Muna Tasneem, the recently elected vice president of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Tasneem is the high commissioner of Bangladesh to the United Kingdom.
During the meeting, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria decided to formalize their corporate cooperation and partnership in the maritime industry by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).