…As World Marks World Oceans Day***
The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside at the weekend reiterated that the nation’s maritime endowments, particularly the ocean’s resources were richly sufficient, to sustain the economy of Nigeria.
Dakuku who spoke on June 8th to commemorate the World Ocean Day has therefore charged stakeholders to celebrate the ocean, its importance in the lives of Nigerians, while focusing on how economic diversification can be achieved for sustainable growth and development.
He noted that, like the cyber world which has reduced the real world to a global village, the ocean is global and connects people worldwide, thus inspiring continuing action year-round to protect and restore this amazing resource that we all depend on.
Like most great maritime nations, he pointed out that the “time has come for all hands to be on deck and support the Federal Government’s efforts in taping into the blue economy and develop it to such a level that it can contribute far more greatly as projected”.
Dakuku further observed that nations like Singapore, Philippines and Malta along with the world great economies like the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Russia and China amongst others strive greatly on their oceans as the bedrock of their economy, and with about 90 percent of world trade being done by sea and shipping, it is time Nigeria begins to join the league of such great countries by engaging its waters more profitably.
“The World Oceans Day celebration inspires the thinking that recognizes that there is one global ocean that connects the entire world. Within this one ocean, there are five distinct oceans: the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and Southern Ocean. And it is already happening that the boundaries of these oceans are invincible and so it is important that we take steps to ensure that we tap the abundant resources inherent within our maritime endowment, because our lives as a nation depends hugely on it”, the DG said.
While stating that the issue of climate change and marine environment degradation is of concern to the nation and international community, he assured that NIMASA on its part will continue to lend its voice in support of the advocacy and drive, which will further guarantee and compliment government’s ease of doing business initiative.
Dr. Peterside reiterated that the Agency is open to all forms of partnerships that can help the growth and development of the Nigerian maritime sector, in line with the economic diversification agenda of government.
World Oceans Day takes place on June 8 every year. The concept was originally proposed in 1992 by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD) and the Ocean Institute of Canada (OIC) at the Earth Summit – UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the first World Oceans Day in 1992, the objectives were to move the oceans from the side-lines to the center of the inter-governmental and NGO discussions and policy and to strengthen the voice of ocean and coastal constituencies worldwide.
Since 2002, there has been a concerted effort to promote World Oceans Day as a unique opportunity to celebrate the ocean, our connections, and make a real difference.