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Nigeria to mainstream maritime sector for economic development- Amaechi

  • ·   Better understanding of maritime transportation will facilitate economic growth –     Dakuku
  • ·       IMO reiterates commitment to assisting member states on UN
    2030 SDG Agenda

L–R: Prof. Martin Ndende, Senior Regional Adviser, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA); Mr. Juvenal Shiundu, Director, Technical Cooperation Division, International Maritime Organisation (IMO); Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Mr. Carlos Salgado, Head, Latin America & The Caribbean Section, Technical Cooperation Division, IMO at the opening of a two-day Regional Workshop on UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework: A process to mainstream the maritime sector organised by NIMASA in conjunction IMO and UNECA) in Lagos.

The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has disclosed that the Federal Government of Nigeria will
ensure the maritime sector gets into the mainstream of economic strategy as it
will engender economic growth and prosperity.

The Minister stated this in his
keynote address at the opening of a two-day Regional Workshop on UN Sustainable
Development Cooperation Framework: A process to mainstream the maritime sector.

The workshop was organised by the
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in conjunction with
the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the United Nations Economic
Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Lagos.

Amaechi said that the Maritime
Transport Plan and Strategy when fully completed would also provide a robust
enabling framework for achieving Nigerian maritime objective and foster Public,
Private sector collaboration and inter-regional cooperation. 

His words: “This workshop is an essential step
in a continuing shift in strategic thinking about the sustainable development
of our nations and will no doubt provide an opportunity for stakeholders here
present to develop the much needed cooperation framework in addressing the Sustainable
Development Goal (SDG).”            
Speaking further, the Minister who
was represented by the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, stated
that as the African Continent forges ahead with phase II negotiations for the
creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), the maritime
sector remains critical to seamless trade and effective economic integration
between African nations.

He said: “our approach, therefore,
towards the realisation of the SDG is contingent on our joint effort and
ability to put in place the much needed cooperation framework in collaboration
with critical stakeholders using the maritime sector as a veritable tool to
promote agricultural development, food security, industrialisation and economic
transformation of our nations, the region and the entire continent.”   

He used the opportunity to commend
the IMO, UNECA and NIMASA for putting together the workshop, and expressed
optimism that with the level of participation at the workshop, the objectives
of developing blueprint and agreeing on a common approach in mainstreaming the
maritime sector into the SDG and national plan of states will be achieved.

On his part, the NIMASA DG, in his
welcome address, said there is the need for the leaders of the various
countries in the continent to understand the workings of the maritime sector,
as maritime transportation plays an important role in a nation’s economic

He emphasised the need to help the
leaders understand why it is important to mainstream maritime sector in
economic plan and economic strategies of the various countries.

“As a country, we align with the
initiative of the IMO to mainstream maritime transportation and the maritime
sector to the economic planning of our various nations and also in the
strategic planning.

“Not only are we going to mainstream
maritime transport to the economic strategies of our various countries, there
is being a shift from looking unto other countries for assistance to working
with other countries, international partners in a cooperative and collaborative
manner,” Dakuku stated.

Also, the NIMASA DG stated that
Nigeria is currently pursuing an economic diversification programme, with a
long term plan.

 “We are working from the known to a future we
deserve, and we have taken a number of steps; we have clearly identified where
we want to be as a country, we have identified pillars upon which we want to
build that glorious future we are working towards,” the DG said.

The Director, Technical Cooperation
Division of the IMO, Mr. Juvenal Shiundu, in his remarks gave the assurance
that the IMO is committed to assisting member states on the United Nations 2030
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) agenda.

He said IMO’s commitment to the 2030
Agenda for Sustainable Development is manifestly reflected in its General
Assembly Resolution (A.1126) adopted at its 30th session in 2017, which
includes among others, invitation to Member States, partner organizations to
coordinate and work with the five United Nations Regional Economic Commissions
to ensure that the maritime sector is reflected in regional programmes.

The two-day workshop is to create a
forum for all the key players and stakeholders involved in the Cooperation
Framework process to meet, establish the necessary contacts, which will be
needed for future collaboration and for the inclusion of maritime in the
mainstream of their economic strategies towards economic growth.

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