The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, has said maritime offers Nigeria a bounteous substitute in the economic diversification drive.
He stated this in Abuja when he delivered a paper at the National Defence College (NDC), recently.
The lecture titled ‘Maritime Security and National Development in Nigeria: The Role of NIMASA’, was for NDC Course 29 participants.
Jamoh said maritime had enormous potential to drive sustainable development in Nigeria, with huge investment opportunities in shipbuilding and repairs, offshore/floating spare parts sales and maintenance, among others.
He said that about 75 per cent of all Gulf of Guinea-bound cargo is destined for Nigeria, so if properly harnessed, maritime could give the country 30 times more than the revenue from oil.
Oil contributes about 70 per cent of the government’s revenue and nearly 90 per cent of foreign exchange earnings in Nigeria. However, the country is trying to move away from its near-total dependence on oil.
“Judging by a simple maritime resource mapping, and also research by reputable local and international organisations, it is clear that our marine environment can give us annually 30 times more than what we get from oil. There are boundless opportunities for investment in the sector, given the right conditions.
“We are tackling the security issues in our waters, and we know that the international community is concerned, and the stakeholders are mindful of our efforts,” he said.
The Commandant, National Defence College, Rear Admiral Mackson Kadir, also called for a positive reorientation towards maritime.
He commended the NIMASA D-G for his efforts towards the growth of the maritime industry and intensification of the collaborative spirit among relevant organisations in the sector.