The president of Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON), Mr. Paul Ogbuokiri has urged Nigeria as a nation to channel it’s source of income to other areas aside crude oil.
Mr Paul Ogbuokiri said that with the recent experience where over half of the mainstay of the economy, crude oil was vanishing into thin air in the name of ‘oil theft’ and now the current dynamics in the global energy consumption pattern which is favouring cleaner energy as against the abundant hydrocarbon, Nigeria as a nation has just option left than to refocus it’s attention to other sources of revenue or die.
Ogbuokiri said this at the 2022 edition of the associations Annual Conference and Awards, held on Monday, December 19th, 2022, at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel Ikeja, Lagos State
He hinted that the country has chosen to live it’s blue economy resources which have remained mere potentials over the years and been identified as the low hanging fruit which the country could easily pluck to create abundance for its rapidly growing population.
According to him, the blue economy guarantees sustainable exploitation of all resources in the marine environment including but not limited to fisheries, hydrocarbons, aquatic life, maritime transport, tourism, ports and harbour development and maintenance, and many more.
He recalled that It’s in realization of this strategic importance of the blue economy towards reducing poverty and inequality in Nigeria that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo had on January 17, 2022 launched the Expanded Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria (ECSBEN) with the mandate to recommend ways of strengthening the governance framework and infrastructural development of the maritime industry.
He disclosed that the Committee had members drawn from Rivers, Lagos, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Borno, Ogun, Ondo, Cross River, Bayelsa, and Edo states.
While others are the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron and the Chief of the Naval Staff. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Power, Finance, Environment, Trade and Investment, Agriculture and Water Resources and representatives of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Nigeria Economic Summit Group and a seasoned journalist, Mr Ismail Aniemu as members.
In his words “We believe that the reporte coming together by the government agencies under the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT), to digitalise their internal processes and maintain focus on actualising the National Single Window regime in the nation’s transportation sector will add impetus to the objectives of this ECSBEN initiative.
“This move by the Federal Ministry of Transportation which we consider very necessary for the country to drive optimal gain from its vast blue economy resources further makes the theme of this year’s edition of the AMJON Conference and Awards: Maximizing the Gains of Nigeria’s Blue Economy through Automation, very germane” Ogbuokiri said.
He however urged government agencies such as Customs, NPA, NIMASA etc having different ICT platforms to come together, adding that the entire Nigeria maritime industry should, in line with modern trends, come under one ICT umbrella to enhance ease of doing business in the industry and make interaction among operators and those wishing to do business with the sector be able to do that seamlessly.