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Shippers’ Council harps on blue economy


A container vessel waiting to berth at the port.

Parleys with police on ports regulation, enforcement
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), has restated its commitment to the realisation of the blue economy agenda, in line with the economic diversification policy of the Federal Government.

Accordingly, the Council gathered its top management staff to brainstorm and chart a path for the smooth transition to the blue economy.

The blue economy is the sustainable use of oceans and seas resources for economic growth, improve livelihoods and jobs and ocean ecosystem health.

The Executive Secretary, NSC, Hassan Bello, argued that shipping is making direct impact on economies of the world, and Nigeria cannot be an exception.

“We must begin to tap into the opportunities in our waters, seas and ocean to grow our economy,” he said.

Also speaking, the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said Africa has failed to become a prosperous continent because it has failed to maximise the potential of its seas and ocean.

He identified the challenges militating against the development of the blue economy as, maritime insecurity; criminal activities at sea; climate vulnerability; inadequate access to share resources; poor infrastructure; weak fiscal structures; poor ocean governance framework and legislative vacuums and terrorism, and a host of others.

Meanwhile, the NSC has sealed a partnership with the Maritime Police for the effective performance of its mandate as the nation’s ports economic regulator.

While receiving the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Alkali Usman at the NSC headquarters in Lagos, Bello said: “We may need some enforcement or reinforcement. I think it is imperative that we do this within the context of the law.”

The NSC scribe said the Council would also like the Maritime Police to provide the same duty rendered at the Inland Container Depots (ICDs), when the depots finally take off.

Responding, Usman described the Council and the Maritime Police as partners in the business of policing the Nigerian waters.

He said with synergy, they would be able to achieve the nation’s objective of policing the Nigerian waters, and make impact on the Council’s regulatory assignment.

The AIG said: “Crimes prevention and control in the waterways is vast. The challenges of the sea are enormous. The attention of government has not been really focused on that.

“We have also realised that our responsibility of policing the waterways cannot be carried out without seeking the support of the stakeholders,” he said.

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