The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, has urged stakeholders to strive for sustainable solutions that will chart the desired synergy, collaboration and connective interplay in the Maritime sector.
Saraki, who was represented by the Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Air Commodore, Emmanuel Effedua, made this known at the Stakeholders’ Validation Forum in Calabar.
In a statement, the Director Press and Public Relations of the ministry, Eric Orjiekwe, Saraki said Nigeria cannot develop without a vibrant National Maritime Transport Policy.
She charged stakeholders to review the draft policy document.
”New ideas, innovations and strategies generated at the fora when inculcated into the draft policy, would enable the sector compete more favourably in the global market.
”It will also ensure substantial contributions to the economy and development of Nigeria,” she said.
Saraki acknowledged that the input of all stakeholders’ in the maritime sector was needed to produce a policy that would serve as an implementation tool towards fostering sustainable growth of the sector and the country at large.
She said this would ensure maximum economic benefit to the Maritime sector, the national economy and consequently raise the profile of the sector globally.
She said its coming on board would play its rightful role in job creation, revenue generation, foreign exchange earnings and entrepreneurial skills for our growing economy.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani, said the policy is the bedrock for the development of any nation and sector.
Ajani, represented by the Director Maritime Safety and Security at the Ministry, Dr Paul Adalikwu, said the development of the Policy therefore, was pivotal to the survival, sustainability and advancement of the Maritime Sector of Nigeria.
Rtd. Capt. Iheanacho Ebubeogu of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, in his remarks said that the National Maritime Transport Policy was first drafted in 2016 but never fully implemented.
He expressed optimism that the fora would provide the needed platform to proffer inputs that were not only self seeking for the country but in tandem with implementing and enforcing of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) instruments.
The Chairman, Technical Committee of the National Maritime Transport Policy and Director, Maritime Safety and Security, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr Paul Adalikwu, said the Maritime Sub-Sector lacked the most essential facility needed for acceptable planning, projections, strategising and implementation.
Adalikwu said these had diminished the ability of key players to make substantive impact in the national and global economy.
“The Stakeholders’ engagement affords all the opportunity to understand different perspectives, roles and desires of every player in the industry”, he added.