Tuesday 24 October 2023

NESG session: My core agenda is to open up marine and blue economy to private investments, public-private partnerships- Oyetola . Says 24-48 hours cargo clearance is achievable

Yesterday evening, the minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola CON, attended one of the dinner sessions at the ongoing 29th Nigerian Economic Summit, holding in Abuja. The event was put together by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.

At the session themed 'Sailing to Success: Harnessing Nigeria’s Maritime Potential,' the minister reiterated the Ministry's commitment to fixing some of the challenges confronting the nation's marine and blue economy and opening up the sector to private investments and public-private partnerships. 

He noted that just as the country has witnessed the transformation in the telecoms and power sectors through private sector participation, he believes that enabling private sector investments is key to unlocking Nigeria's economic potential in the Marine and Blue Economy sector.

He also spoke of government's readiness to enhance efficiency at the ports and facilitate the establishment of private sector-led Maritime Development Zones for the co-location of ancillary services such as "wreck removal, wreck recycling, ship building, ship repairs, etc.

"We are also working to streamline the number of government agencies operating at the ports through the full implementation of the National Single Window initiative. We are also automating port operations through the deployment of a Port Community System and phasing out manual cargo inspections," the minister was partly quoted.

Oyetola further noted the importance of expanding the  domestic shipping fleet by encouraging new shipping lines and enforcing the Cabotage Act more rigorously, adding that "it is imperative that we move quickly towards improving the navigability of our waters, increase the draughts of our ports, achieve 24-48 hours cargo clearance, and ensure adequate connectivity of our ports to the hinterland, with efficient road and rail networks."

The minister added that "our goal is to build a thriving maritime and blue economy sector that makes a substantial contribution to Nigeria's GDP.  I commend the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG, for being a leading private sector-led think-tank and for advocating economic policies and initiatives that will reform and transform our country’s economy."


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