The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, has asserted that exploring the Nigerian blue economy offers huge opportunities for economic growth and development. Nigeria’s vastly underutilised economy can provide a platform for opportunities but the potentials are untapped, Jamoh said on Channels Television Business Morning show on Monday. He stated that utilising the fishery industry and wind energy is advantageous for job opportunities.
“If you take the Fishery industry alone, the value chain that creates the fishing industry is enough for Nigeria. The blue economy provides 350 million jobs worldwide,” he said. “So, it is left for every country to stimulate what they can maximize from the 350 million jobs only in the blue economy alone. If you take fishery, you take wind energy, now we are having a problem with energy, if you take wind energy, it is underutilised.”
The NIMASA boss described the non-realization of these opportunities as “sea blindness”, adding that the blue economy also affects the state of agriculture. “Our coastal lines are underutilised, you see packaging, you look at the oil bunkers. We have over 110, 000 ships coming into Nigeria and going out of Nigeria per annum,” the NIMASA chief added. “There are legal bunkers, to fuel those ships is another business, it is another economy itself. Today less than 10 percent of Nigerians have the capacity to provide oil bunkers for 110,000 ships coming into Nigerian.”
The DG also lamented about the repair of ships and structural development in the blue economy. “The ship repair industry continues to go down, we have to structure, we have to strategize, and we have to give a timeline to see how we can build all these industries,” he added. He also noted that to get to these stages, there is a need to educate, sensitize, and hold seminars to give Nigerians the opportunity to choose the comparative advantage area that they are capable to focus on.