By Ejenike Austin;
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that the nation’s maritime resources have remained largely untapped, despite its huge potential.
Speaking at the 9th NECCIPR Roundtable edition in Lagos on Thursday, Oct. 17, Sanwo-Olu said that the maritime industry could serve as an alternative and sustainable source of revenue for the country in view of the uncertainty of the international oil market.
The governor, who was represented by Fredric Abimbola Oladinde, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, noted that Lagos state, as a littoral state, attracts global maritime trade and that it is also strategically positioned as a tourism market on the west trafficking coastline.
According to the governor, the traditional hospitality of Lagosian has endured the state to foreign investors and travellers.
“This is the major reason for Lagos to emerge as the heart of social-economic industrial activities in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region.
“Our focus will be on developing the necessary infrastructure and ensure that the environment is conducive enough to attract public investment,” he said.
He assured the gathering that Lagos State would continue to work with the private sector and other stakeholders to grow the Blue Economy potential in Lagos state and Nigeria as a whole.
In his remarks, Dakuku Peterside, Director-General/CEO of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, wondered the worth of reputation in driving the Blue Economy and if reputation has any place in driving the Blue Economy, and what is reputation bringing in the quest to diversify the Nigerian economy and make the Blue Economy the pillar of the diversification agenda.
Speaking on the theme “Awakening the blue giant-catalyzing the growth of Nigeria’s Maritime Economy through Public Relations”, he noted that reputation is not an asset and that there has been a contention that it is an intangible asset and therefore an appropriate value cannot be placed on it, while another school of thought also thinks that indeed that reputation is an asset.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of the AfreximBank, says that Afreximbank has $4.4 billion asset base and that Nigeria is the biggest economy not only in Africa, but within the portfolio the bank manages.
Prof. Oramah, who was represented by Peter Adeshola Olowononi; Head of Client Relations for Anglophone West African Region, said that the bank’s intervention in the maritime space in Nigeria had been very strong.
“We finance alongside with Intel and another international bank, we have supported a couple of Nigerian indigenous companies, who offer services to the NNPC,” he said.
In his contribution, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, of the University of Port Harcourt, spoke on the monetary opportunities available in the maritime industry.
He illustrated and analysed the social and economic resources under the sea and stated that “the maritime sector also provides recreation, including the benefits for the younger generation from the Blue Economy and how it improves the lives of all”.
In her goodwill message, Carol Ufere, a Maritime consultant and licensed practitioner, said that Public Relations could be used as a tool for development and that “nowhere is now more needed than in the maritime industry”.
“We are primed to fill the gap once occupied by the oil and gas, as the premier natural resource that will bring prosperity to the nation,” she said.
“Nigerian is extremely blessed by nautical standards, the country is strategically located as the pivot of West Africa’s shipping and international natural maritime endowment base, incorporating a coastline of over 800km,” she said.
Earlier in her welcome address, Nkechi Ali-Balogun, Principal Consultant/CEO NECCI Limited and Founder NECCI PR Roundtable, said that the aim of the theme was to explore the potential of the Nigerian maritime economy, study the challenges and proffer sustainable solutions that would engender greater influx of foreign direct investments into the maritime sector.
-Oct 19, 2019 @13:53 GMT |