Finance Key To Unlocking The Potential Of Blue Economy In Africa–Minister

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This is an address by the Minister of Transportation,Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, at the 2022 edition of the Nigeria International Maritime Summit held on November 21st 2022.

I am delighted to welcome you to this year’s edition of the Nigeria International Maritime Summit. In particular, I have the honour and rare privilege of extending President Muhammadu Buhari’s warm welcome to our esteemed guest His Excellency Kitack Lim and his delegation. Welcome to Nigeria Your Excellency and thank you very much for the Honour you have done us.

The agenda over the next two days captures important questions, opportunities and challenges associated with our quest for achieving a sustainable approach to harnessing the blue economy in Nigeria.

To highlight a few, finance is a critical driver for unlocking the potential of the blue economy in Africa and in particular Nigeria. Sustainable financing models are therefore important to build critical maritime assets such as shipyards and ports across the country.

Similarly, the discussions within the global community on the need to reshape the way the shipping industry operates in the face of current and future challenges, ranging from a changing climate and the need for rapid decarbonisation by 2050 cannot be overemphasized.

Nigeria’s commitment to the sustainability of the blue economy is demonstrated by the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To this end, an Expanded Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria (ECSBEN) under the leadership of no less a person than the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is driving the implementation process and to perfect the agenda for a national strategy.

This agenda amongst others is focused on providing an assessment of the current realities, opportunities and challenges for economic diversification and the growth of a sustainable blue economy; including the identification and review of relevant policies and institutional/capacity-building mechanisms. This is in addition to the identification of regional and cross-border partnerships necessary for the implementation of the blue economy plan, the relevant sectors, actors and linkages, and the development of a national action plan with an implementation strategy for the Nigerian blue economy.

At this juncture, it is my pleasure to inform His Excellency the Secretary-General, of the impressive landmark achievement in the area of anti-piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. Since the commissioning of the deep blue project by our President in June 2021, now over a year ago, not a single incident of piracy has been recorded in our maritime domain.

As I conclude, permit me to state that this Summit is an important step in the continuing shift in strategic thinking about the blue economy. It will undoubtedly serve as a benchmark for stakeholders in Nigeria and beyond to further develop innovative strategies to sustainably harness the vast potentials of the blue economy. I hope that the deliberations at this event will lead to viable solutions for overcoming this challenge.

I would like to thank the Advisory Council of the Nigeria International Maritime Summit, the Secretariat, our Agencies, and other stakeholders who have worked assiduously with the Federal Ministry of Transportation, for putting together this event.

Having said that, I have the pleasure of declaring this year’s Summit formally open.

Thank you and God bless.

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