As Nigeria considers options for the diversification of its economy, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, Director-General, Nigeria Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), says the agency is working towards making blue economy Nigeria’s main source of revenue.
Jamoh made this known while speaking with journalists on the sideline of the three-day Nigeria-Netherlands Economic Consultation holding in Abuja between June 6 to June 8.
The Economic Consultation facilitated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seeks to modify the already existing trade treaty between Nigeria and the Netherlands to boost economic cooperation.
Jamoh said that NIMASA is driving policies that would enable Nigeria explore the over 2.5 trillion-dollar worth of ocean resources that the world has.
The NIMASA D-G said that collaborating with the Netherlands as a maritime nation would enable Nigeria to achieve this goal for mutual benefits.
“We are seeing what we can explore from the over 2.5 trillion-dollar worth of ocean resources that we have.
“If oceans were to be an economy, it would be the seventh largest in the world just followed by Britain and next to Brazil.
“The Netherlands being a member of the council reelected in 2021, they have one of the largest ports in Europe and one of the largest in the world if you exclude Asia.
“The resources in our own oceans and seas are an economy that cannot be ignored.”
“I have looked at the trade relationship between Nigeria and the Netherlands, the major components used to be petroleum, fish, and milk. So also, the exports between Nigeria and the Netherlands.
“The amount of export from Nigeria to the Netherlands amount to about 2.63 billion as at 2021, while from the Netherlands to Nigeria upon 4.58 million. But in so doing, what is the contribution and the percentage of our oceans?
“In spite of the fact that we have 853km of our own coastal line, we have about 10,000 kilometers of our inland waterways and all these, the resources in this have a lot of potentials of building both economies,” Jamoh said.
Jamoh said that now is the time for the Netherlands to expand its maritime ties with Nigeria following the recent approval by the National Assembly which would allow NIMASA to disburse 700 million dollars for ship expansion in Nigeria.
He also called for increased capacity building between both countries to continue to develop the human resources in the sector.
This is also as Jamoh lamented Nigeria grappling with just one maritime university as compared to the Netherlands, a country smaller than Nigeria having six maritime universities.