Oyetola calls for more private sector participation in blue economy


Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola

By Richard Elesho

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Gboyega Oyetola, has lamented the number of kilometres navigable in Nigerian waterways, promising to jack it up from its current 3,000. He noted that the elongation of the water routes would ease human movement and boost commerce.

Oyetola, who stated this in Lokoja on Tuesday during the commissioning of projects at the headquarters of National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, called for private sector participation in the sector.

The minister said: “I am aware that of the 10, 000 kilometres of our waterways, only 3,000 kilometres are navigable. We are determined to increase them by at least 2,000 kilometres more.

“This is why we should embark on a holistic dredging of strategically important inland waterways for the passage of goods and people.

“This is a task that must be accomplished to create positive change and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.”

Oyetola said the ministry was currently engaging relevant stakeholders to finalize the arrangement for the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) for the development of the maritime sector.

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“As a ministry, we will continue to create the enabling environment, develop policies and offer necessary support to grow the inland waterways segment of the maritime sector in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration.

“In line with the mandate of the ministry, we will continue to vigorously pursue the development of the shipping and maritime-related sectors to ensure sustainable development of our marine resources.

“I call on the private sector to explore and utilise the opportunities inherent in the sector for possible investment and partnership with the government to enhance growth and ensure sustainable development,” he added.

Earlier, the Managing Director of NIWA, Bola Oyebamiji, called on staff and management of the organisation to feel free to introduce innovations that could move the sector forward.

‘My doors are always open to welcome ideas and suggestions that would help in assisting NIWA to realise the vision of Mr. President, who believes that there are enormous economic potentials in the marine sector,” he said.

The projects inaugurated include the administrative block, security post, 62 passengers boat, ambulance, and hydrographic survey boat.

Present at the occasion were Senator Sunday Karimi, Kogi West, and other members of the national assembly, security chiefs, and traditional rulers.

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