The President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Mrs Toki Mabogunje, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari on the launch of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, the deep blue project.
Mabogunje gave the commendation during the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Special Day at the 2021 Lagos International Trade Fair, on Saturday in Lagos.
The fair is holding from Nov. 5 to Nov. 14 and has as its theme: “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value”.
Over 200,000 visitors are expected while about 1,500 exhibitors from 16 countries are participating in the 35th edition of the fair.
“The launch of the Integrated National Security and Water Ways Protection Infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project by President Muhammadu Buhari, is also as well commended, even as we crave for safer waterways.
“The blue economy in Nigeria cannot thrive with cases of sea piracy incidents on our inland waterways; we expect international trade volumes to rise as economic recovery goes across the globe.
“Supply chain disruption caused by the COVID-19 lockdown needs to be restored through the efforts of maritime regulators like NIMASA,” she said.
The LCCI president also said that in recognition of the importance of the sector and its role as a regulator, Maritime Sector had been inaugurated at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
According to her, the maritime sector brings all the actors to play – the ship owners, the seafarers, etc.
She said: “We have spoken to all of them asking whether they would like to have a part of the Lagos Chamber to coordinate together and speak with one voice about the maritime sector.
“Nigeria is too big and important an economy to ignore. And we need to have a larger voice in global trade and especially on this African Continental Trade Agreement that is about to come about.”
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, said that blue economy was capital intensive.
Jamoh, represented by Dr Momoh Alhasan, Assistant Director, Shipping Promotions, explained that Lagos as a littoral state was best suited to concentrate on ports and logistics which would attract other activities in the blue economy system.
“Seaports play a strategic role in facilitating International trade and economic growth of both littoral and land locked states.
“They are catalyst in the following areas: In terms of gross value added to GDP, terms of employment generated from port activities.
“In terms of trade volumes and values in relation to both exports in terms of fiscal revenue to national and regional governments imports.
“In terms of investments by public and private investors, port superstructure and infrastructure are capital intensive and require constant maintenance,” he said.
Jamoh urged the state government to collaborate with the Federal Government to improve port infrastructure and superstructure to attract more trading vessels, thereby boosting state and national Income.