Oyetola vows to ensure safe, sustainable marine economy in Nigeria

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By Nsikak Nseyen

Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, has said he will ensure the country’s bodies of water are safe, reliable, and sustainable across the nation.

Oyetola made the declaration when he assumed office on Monday in Abuja.

According to him, the ocean holds the key to sustainable economic growth, environmental preservation, and technological innovation.

“Our oceans cover more than two-thirds of the African planet’s surface. As we look ahead, my vision is rooted in the responsible management and utilisation of our marine resources to benefit not only our economy but also the health of our planet.

“Experts say the blue economy is estimated to be worth more than 1.5 trillion dollars per year globally. Consequently, given our size as a country and considering the size of our blue economy, we should be a significant player in this sector,” the minister said.

Noting that the sector has the potential to contribute immensely to revenue generation and provide jobs for the unemployed, he avowed that there ought to be practicable ways of ensuring the nation’s inland rivers, lakes, and waterways are well utilised, both in terms of cargo shipment and passenger transportation.

“This can be done by embarking on a holistic dredging campaign for most of our strategically important inland waterways so as to make them navigable for the passage of goods and people.

“We equally have a duty to promote better inter-agency cooperation and coordination between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, the Nigerian Ports Authority, and the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority.

“As someone with a strong private sector background, we shall promote greater private sector inclusion while fostering greater efficiency through specialisation and the effective delineation of core duties between the units,” he said.

According to him, this administration will seize the opportunity to create positive change by leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.

Oyetola called for the cooperation of the staff of the ministry towards national development.

“I must say that I am privileged to be joining this amazing team as the team leader. I want you to know that I am here to support you, to listen to your ideas, and to champion the growth of our marine resources. Together, we shall embark on a journey that holds immense promise and responsibility. I believe that when we are able to do all these and more, we will have contributed our own quota towards realising the President’s renewed Hope Agenda in the Marine and Blue Economy sectors,” he said.

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