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DG NIMASA, Stakeholders endorse partnership as key to effective utilization of Africa’s maritime resources

 As they set up Committee on
Sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria
L-R: Barrister
(Mrs.) Margaret Orakwusi, Dr. Chris Asoluka, Director General, Nigerian
Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside,
NIMASA Board Chairman, Major General, Jonathan India Garba (rtd.) and
President, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Engr. Greg Ogbeifun
during the 2018 African Day of Seas and Oceans held in Lagos on Wednesday. 

The Director
General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr.
Dakuku Peterside
, has stated that partnership is a crucial element
to the effective utilization of Africa’s maritime resources, just as a
Committee of
was set up to map out strategies to develop Nigeria’s Blue

said this
on Wednesday during this year’s celebration of the African Day of Seas
and Oceans held in Lagos with the theme “Partnership Key to a Sustainable Blue
World” noted that the need for countries in the African continent to
collaborate ha
d become imperative in order to realize a common goal, geared
towards the actualization of the Blue Economy.
In his
words, “Our passion for Africa’s partnership inspires our leadership
role in the Association of African Maritime Administration (AAMA) to continue
to innovate with ideas to pull African Maritime Administrations (MARAD)
together for sustainable realization of the objectives of the African
Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) 2050 towards a peaceful, prosperous and
integrated Africa where there will be equal opportunity to participate towards
economic growth.” 
Speaking further,
Dr. Peterside noted that the world is concerned about the sustainable use of
the seas and oceans as it is endowed with enormous resources, hence the need
for Africa to utilize the opportunities embedded in it.
While using the
opportunity to call for more collaboration among Stakeholders in realizing a
robust maritime sector in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, he assured that NIMASA
ould continue to engage and educate the public on the sustainable
use of the seas and oceans.     
The event which
was well-attended by Stakeholders and experts in the maritime sector also had
in attendance the Managing Director, Starz Marine and Engineering Services
Limited, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun as the Chairman of the occasion, who said in his
opening remarks that the world is beginning to go back to the original creation
God blessed mankind with, which is the seas and the oceans.
He noted that
is at a vantage position with a good geographical location with
about 900 km coastline, hence the need to work harmoniously to realize the
blueprint of the AIMS 2050 with the overall goal of actualizing the concept of
the Blue Economy in Africa for continental economic growth.
Also speaking at
the event was Barrister (Mrs.) Margaret Orakwusi who delivered the lead paper
titled; “National Maritime Strategy and the National Maritime Transport Policy
Framework: How Far is the Road Yet?” concluded by saying; “For Nigeria
to develop a robust and sustainable maritime sector, there is the need to
prepare an all-inclusive framework and strategy based on the development
strategies of the African Union in line with the AIMS 2050, Agenda 2063, Lome
Charter and the African Maritime Transport Charter
In his paper
titled; “Developing our Blue Economy as a Critical National Economic
Objective: The Partnership Model.”
 Dr. Chris Asoluka stated that the
only way to fully optimize the opportunities embedded in the African seas and
was to work collaboratively as a continent, so that we can
compete favorably with our counterparts in other continents. He also reiterated
the fact that Nigeria’s maritime domain remains a fertile ground waiting to be
fully utilized for economic growth and development.
On his part,
Professor Babajide Alo an environmental expert who also spoke at the event
advised that beyond the annual celebration of the event, partnership strategies
to ensure sustainable implementation of the resolutions must be considered so
that in the long run all set goals are achieved for the benefit of the entire
African continent.
At the event, the
NIMASA Board Chairman, Major General Jonathan India Garba (rtd.) and the
Director General, Nigerian Chambers of Shipping, Barrister (Mrs.) Obiageli Obi
in their goodwill messages unanimously agreed that it
is important to
realize that the world is getting more and more dependent on resources from the
seas and oceans, noting that it is the engine for economic growth. They also
urged Stakeholders in the maritime industry to work together for the benefit of
the actualization of the Blue Economy in Africa. 
The highpoint of
the event was the setting up a partnership committee on implementation of
sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria to be Chaired by Major General, Jonathan
India Garba (rtd) and the Secretary is Dr. Mrs. Felicia Mogo, the Deputy
Director, in charge Marine Environment Management of NIMASA. Other members of
the Committee includes; Dr. Chris Asoluka, Captain Sunday Umoren amongst
The Committee
while being inaugurated by Mr. Mike Igbokwe, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN)
was charged to come up a framework for the actualization of the Blue Economy
initiative in Nigeria amongst other responsibilities, all geared towards the
realization of a robust and virile maritime sector in Nigeria.  
It would be recalled that the 22nd Ordinary Session of Heads of States
and Governments adopted the 2050 AIM Strategy and Plan of Action, including a
roadmap for the incremental implementation of the strategy in line with
International Maritime Law.
The Strategy
includes a framework for action on, inter alia: fisheries and
aquaculture; environmental and biodiversity monitoring; marine tourism;
Disaster Risk Management (DRM); handling and shipment of hazardous materials
and dangerous goods; maritime governance; flag state and port state control; and
illegal activities, including money laundering, piracy, maritime terrorism and
human trafficking and smuggling by sea.
The African Day
of the Seas and Oceans was instituted by the African Union in 2015. It seeks to
draw attention to the strategic importance of proper management of marine
resources for the development of the African continent in a sustainable manner.

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