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Nigeria’s Maritime Sector to Boost Economy by 2024

Lawmakers aim to increase the contribution of the shipping industry to the nation's GDP

by Victor Adetimilehin

Nigeria’s National Assembly has set an ambitious target to grow the maritime sector and make it a major source of revenue for the country. The lawmakers said they want the sector to contribute at least 20 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2024.


The Chairman of the House Committee on Shipping Services, Abdussamad Dasuki, stated this on Thursday in Lagos at a special performance retreat organized by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council.


The retreat was themed ‘Strengthening Economic Regulation of the Marine and Blue Economy’.


Dasuki said that the sector, which currently contributes less than one per cent to the GDP, has the potential to deliver much more. He promised that the committee would support the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, the economic regulator of the sector, to achieve its mandate.


“As the chairman overseeing NSC, we are going to be partners in progress to do all that is expected from you as the regulator of this important sector. On that note, I would highlight to you that even before the new executive secretary resumed office, I had championed having important backup law regulating this important agency.


“We are going to fast-track that law and make sure you have legal backing to do what is expected of you. Part of what we are to discuss is to know how to strengthen economic regulation of the Marine and Blue Economy. We should have a Nigerian Shipping Commission Council,” he added.


The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of NSC, Akutah Ukeyima, said that the council had long been at the forefront of catalyzing innovation, championing progress, and navigating the dynamic waters of global trade.


“As we gather here today, we are embarking on a collective endeavor that holds profound significance for the future of our nation’s economic landscape.


“Today’s retreat marks not just a gathering of minds but a strategic convergence of wisdom, expertise, and foresight. It is a testament to our unwavering commitment to shaping a future where the marine and blue economy sector becomes a beacon of sustainable development and prosperity,” he said.


Ukeyima said that the focus of the council on economic regulation underscores a profound understanding that effective governance, equitable practices, and strategic policies serve as the bedrock for fostering a thriving blue economy.


According to a report by Punch, he said that the council would continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria’s maritime sector becomes a key player in the global market.


The retreat featured presentations and discussions on various aspects of the marine and blue economy, such as port development, inland waterways, coastal and maritime tourism, fisheries and aquaculture, maritime security, and environmental protection.


The participants also identified the challenges and opportunities in the sector and proffered solutions and recommendations to enhance its performance and impact.


The retreat was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Transportation, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Customs Service, and other public and private sector stakeholders.


The maritime sector is one of the pillars of Nigeria’s economic diversification agenda, as it has the potential to generate employment, income, and foreign exchange for the country. With the right policies and regulations, the sector can help Nigeria achieve its vision of becoming a prosperous and resilient nation.

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