Govt to harness huge maritime assets to diversify economy

Matthew Otoijagha

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday assured stakeholders that his administration will harness the huge maritime assets across the country to diversify the economy, eradicate poverty and massive create jobs.

He said the sector would also be given the necessary attention and adequate support because it has vital role to play in transforming the nation’s economy.

Addressing over 2,000 dignitaries and stakeholders at the launch of a book titled: Harnessing Nigeria’s Maritime Assets – Past, Present and Future,  represented by the Minister of Transportation Rotimi, Amaechi on the occasion, Buhari said the government was working relentlessly to ensure that the  sector contributed meaningfully to the economy and fulfil government’s industrialization agenda.

Buhari urged Nigerians to keep faith with the government based on its determination to revamp the nation’s economy. He also gave kudos to the author of the book, Mr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh who also doubled as the Executive Director, Admin and Finance of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), for taking time to put his 25 years’ experience in records.

Buhari however, regretted that the country had relied so much on money from crude oil in the past. He said it was time to focus on other sources, particularly the maritime sector which covers both aquatic and marine spaces including oceans, seas, coasts, lakes, rivers and underground waters.

He said the maritime sector encompasses a range of productive sectors; fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, transport, ship building, energy, bio-prospecting, under-water mining and related activities, all pointing towards economic prosperity, when adequately harnessed.

“We know that the maritime sector has so much to offer the economy in terms of jobs and wealth creation and also contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). On our part as a government, we are determined to walk the talk so that our economic diversification initiative will be fully achieved for the benefit of all Nigerians,” he said.

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