By Sunday Oguntuyi, Osogbo
Adegboyega Oyetola, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, on Monday resumed duty in Abuja after he was sworn in by President Bola Tinubu.
He was received by the permanent secretary of the ministry, Magdalene Ajani, the managing director of NIWA, George Moghalu, the executive secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Emmanuel Jime, and some directors of the ministry.
Oyetola urged the ministry staff to work with him to find innovative solutions to the challenges in the sector and ensure that the oceans and marine are safe, reliable, and sustainable.
He also revealed that the blue economy is estimated globally to be worth more than $1.5 trillion annually.
He said considering the size of the country’s blue economy, Nigeria should be a significant player in the sector to contribute to the country’s revenue and also provide jobs for the unemployed.
He promised to come up with practicable ways of ensuring that the inland rivers, lakes, and waterways are utilised for cargo shipment and passenger transportation.
He said: “Our oceans cover more than two-thirds of our planet’s surface, holding the key to sustainable economic growth, environmental preservation, and technological innovation. As we look ahead, my vision is rooted in the responsible management and utilisation of our marine resources to benefit not only our economy but also the health of our planet.
“Experts say the Blue Economy is estimated to be worth more than $1.5 trillion per year globally. Therefore, given our size as a country and considering the size of our blue economy, we should be a significant player in this sector, to contribute immensely to the revenue generation of our country and also provide jobs for the unemployed.
“We must come up with practicable ways of ensuring that our inland rivers, lakes, and waterways are well utilised, both in terms of cargo shipment and passenger transportation.
“This can be done by embarking on a holistic dredging campaign for most of our strategically important inland waterways to make them navigable for the passage of goods and people.”
The former governor of Osun state also said he would promote better inter-agency cooperation and coordination between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, the Nigerian Ports Authority, and the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority.
“As someone with a strong private sector background, we shall promote greater private sector inclusion while fostering greater efficiency through specialisation and the effective delineation of core duties between the units.
“We must seize this opportunity to create positive change, leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come. These are my thoughts as I join you today. I believe that when we are able to do all these and more, we would have contributed our quota towards realising Mr President’s renewed Hope Agenda in the Marine and Blue Economy sector.