The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, who assumed office yesterday, has said he will ensure oceans and marine were safe, reliable, and sustainable across the nation.
According to him, oceans hold the key to sustainable economic growth, environmental preservation, and technological innovation.
“Our oceans cover more than two-thirds of the African planet’s surface.
“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 Dollars 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, “ the minister said.
He said the sector has the potential to contribute immensely to revenue generation and provide jobs for the unemployed.
According to him, the nation ought to come up with practicable ways of ensuring the nation`s inland rivers, lakes, and waterways were well utilised, both in terms of cargo shipment and passenger transportation.
“And this can be done by embarking on a holistic dredging campaign for most of our strategically important inland waterways so as to make them navigable for the passage of goods and people.
“We equally have a duty to 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,“ he said.
According to him, the nation will seize this opportunity to create positive change by leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.
Oyetola called for the cooperation of the staff toward national development.
“I appreciate your dedication, and I look forward to working alongside each of you in the pursuit of a better Nigeria. I must say that I am privileged to be joining this amazing team as the team leader.
“I want you to know that I am here to support you, to listen to your ideas, and to champion the growth of our marine resources. Together, we shall embark on a journey that holds immense promise and responsibility.
“I believe that when we are able to do all these and more, we will have contributed our own quota toward realising the President’s renewed Hope Agenda in the Marine and Blue Economy sector,“ he said.