By Afolabi Oyekunle.
The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, says government is interested in the fishing industry and is determined to encourage investors to invest in Nigeria’s massive coastline and fishing Industry.
He said it was gladdening that piracy and all other criminalities have been reduced to zero by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.
Oyetola stated this during his visit and tour of marine facilities of the NIMASA in Lagos.
The Minister said he was impressed by the facilities and commended the management of NIMASA for the huge investment in security and human development.
The NIMASA facilities toured by the Minister included the head office enforcement area, training school, the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4i).
Oyetola said “I am impressed with what I have seen so far and I think we are really ready for the marine and blue economy.
“Where we have issues, we are going to look at them with the view of ensuring that we are able to really prepare the ministry with the challenges ahead.”
He noted that Nigerians really look forward to the ministry harnessing the potential in the blue economy, which had been there all along but should be done in a coordinating manner.
“Nigeria has about 853km coastline which is in abundance for maritime tourism. The first thing is to ensure the security of our waterways, so that people will use it for transportation.
“We need to invite investors. In Kenya, there is a particular beach that contains 10,000 villas. Imagine the kind of revenue they get. I want us to be able to ensure investors come to invest in the sector.
“Investors will not want to invest if we cannot guarantee security. So, the first thing is to ensure that security of our waterways is guaranteed.”
Expressing dismay over 22 billion naira, CBN claimed Nigeria used to import fish in 2022, Oyetola promised that his administration will encourage investors in fish trawlers to create jobs for Nigeria and as well save the nation’s forex.