‘Nigeria ready to maximise marine resources potential in blue economy’
President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Nigeria, Mfon Ekong Usoro, has described the newly inaugurated expanded partnership committee on blue economy, as a bold step to fully harness multiple benefits in the nation’s marine environment.
Usoro, who is a member of the committee inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday, January 17, 2022, told The Guardian that it would help in optimising the opportunities in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and strengthen Nigeria’s position in several areas of local and international trade.
She said Nigeria should not only be viewed as the largest market to be exploited by its trade partners, but should also evolve into the logistics hub of the continent.
Speaking in Lagos, Usoro, a maritime lawyer with experience in environmental consultancy, expressed delight that the Vice President reminded members of the committee of wide spectrum and benefits of the blue economy.
“Nigeria is set to join the rest of the world in sustainable exploration of the new and emerging ocean activities such as offshore renewable energy, aquaculture, seabed extractive activities, marine biotechnology and bio-prospecting, mining and underwater tourism.
“This is in addition to rethinking the way we exploit the traditional ocean industries like fisheries, oil and gas and marine transport. These activities have logistics and transport components, which give economic value to those products and activities and the CILT will also contribute in that regard,” she stated.
She described government’s approach of involving 10 state governors, eight ministers and several agencies, as a masterstroke that would yield bountiful results under the Vice President’s coordination.
Usoro, a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), advised state governments involved in the project to remain consistent, as the present cohesion initiated by the Federal Government for the project was unprecedented.