Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh delivering a speech.
Story by Dili Utomi
The ambience within the first floor hall of the Lagoon side location of the Civic Centre along the Ozumba Mbadiwe way in Victoria Island was good, the hall was ‘packed to the rafters’ with professionals of different fields.
The occasion was the “The Bullion Lecture 2023” which is in its 7th edition and organised by the Centre for Financial Journalism with the theme: Banking on Blue Economy for Nigeria’s Economic Development.
Chairing the occasion was Jean Chiazor-Anishere, a well known expert in Maritime Law and a past president of Women’s International Shipping and Trade Association (WISTA-Nigeria) and also a past continental president of Women In Maritime Africa (WIMAFRICA) amongst many of the experiences detailed on her curriculum vitae.
Mr. Ray Echebiri, the CEO of the Centre for Financial Journalism.
The welcome address was delivered by Dr. Oladimeji Israel Alo who represented Mr. Ernest Eni who is the chairman of the board, Centre for Financial Journalism. Dr. Alo expressed his delight at the number of participants particularly the presence of Mr. Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the president on media. He hopes that the aim of the lecture which seeks to bring the awarenes of the untapped potentials of the blue economy into focus for the all round development of the country will be realised.
In his goodwill message, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN said that whoever is going to be the next president of Nigeria is going to inherit a debt of over Eighty Trillion naira and hopes that the session will fully interrogate the matter and make recommendations to help the next administration in chatting a sound financial course for the country.
Mrs. Ify Akerele on her part said that the Maritime sector can become the biggest revenue earner and urged the government to really first focus on areas that will serve as the ‘low hanging fruit’ in the sector.
In his own goodwill message, Mr. Femi Adesina hopes that whatever recommendations made will help to steer the economic ship of state towards the country realizing all her potentials.
Captain Taiwo on his part advised that the government critically look into the creation of the Maritime Ministry as has been done with aviation sector as the sector is humongous in nature.
The chairman of the occasion, Mrs. Jean Chiazor-Anishere in her remark defined the blue economy as the sustainable use of the ocean resources for economic growth and said that the sustainability of the blue economy in an inclusive manner is very important for the future generation. She advised that the coordinated approach to the use of all ocean resources will help the country reach her economic potentials and development.
The representative of the executive vice president of the Nigeria Communication Commission, Dr. Umar Danbatta was Dr. Ruben Muoka who noted that telecommunications partake in every activity and is also very relevant in matters that concern the Maritime sector. He spoke about the level of broadband penetration and the plans for data load download speed across the country at the level of 25 megaper per second in urban areas and in at least 90% of all areas by 2025, Dr. Muoka noted that the cost of data has dropped and is still dropping and added that the national plans on digital economy is an all inclusive plan that will positively impact the Maritime sector.
The lecture on the chosen topic was presented by Dr. Bashir Jamoh, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Dr. Jamoh in his paper informed that the world blue economy is valued at about $24 trillion making it the 7th largest economy by rating if it is a country. He enumerated the large benefits of the oceans from various angles.
The NIMASA boss indicated that Oceans cover 72% of the surface of our blue planet and constitute more than 95% of the biosphere.
That Oceans provide a substantial portion of the global population with food and livelihoods and are the means of transport for 90% of global trade.
He said that the “Seabed currently provides 32% of the global supply of hydrocarbons with exploration expanding into mining of seabed minerals plus potential for renewable “Blue Energy”.”
Dr. Jamoh also spoke on the potentials of the blue economy in the areas of
Offshore renewable energy, such as offshore wind and solar power and emerging ocean energy technologies.
He said that all these have the potentials to support long-term development and a thriving blue economy.
The growth of the blue economy is valued at 2.5 trillion USD per annum
with 90% of global trade volume being seaborne.
Again, 350 million jobs world wide are linked to fisheries.
As much as 34% of crude production is done offshore and Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector providing 50% of fish for humanity.
The lecturer listed out that through Shipping and Port Facilities, 90 percent of global trade by volume and over 70 per cent by value is carried through the seas and oceans and handled by ports worldwide.
He indicated that globally, 350 million jobs are linked to marine fisheries, with 90% of fishers living in developing countries.
In 2012 sea tourism increased by 4% despite the global economic crisis and constituted 9% of Global GDP; 9% of global jobs; and generated US$ 1.3 trillion or 6% of the world’s export earnings.
Dr. Jamoh delved into some areas where his agency has been playing very critical roles such as in the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVF ) $360M X2.
The Deployment of the Modular Floating Dock
(Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme) — NSDP
Training Institutions (MTIs).
The Midwifing of Strategic Synergy to further enable ship-owners easily acquire vessels to expand the national fleet through financial investment and Cargo support by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL). The NNPCL has offered to provide 9% of the 15% CVFF ship-owners’ contribution thereby lessening the financial outlay on the shipOwners to just 6% contribution.
The Underwater/ Marine cable regulation and management is a NIMASA-NCC Collaboration Regime which aims to drive digital economy which is a Blue Economy contributor
He added that NIMASA’s New Agency Policy on Staff Commute to Work by Water backed by the acquisition of mass transit boats.
The Sea Orientation Programme for All Staff “Everybody wants to work in NIMASA but not everyone wants to enter the waters.”
He advised that the over 850km of coastline with over 200 nautical miles into the sea with the numerous opportunities in tourism, cargo operations, stevedoring services, warehousing/bonded terminal, haulage, ship building, ship/cargo surveying, ship management, tank farms, packaging, logistics, bunkering services, ship chandeling, short sea services, ship brokerage and ship agency should be properly exploited to serve the economic needs of the country.
At the end of the programme, the organiser of the event and the CEO of the Centre for Financial Journalism, Mr. Ray Echebiri in a an interview said that he hopes that the lecture would have a huge positive impact on the Nigerian economy. Mr Echebiri added that this year’s event has been a great improvement over the past programmes and hopes that that of 2024 will be much better than this year’s event.
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