Minister Oyetola Emphasizes Strategic Collaboration at Maritime Stakeholders’ Engagement in Lagos

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His Excellency Adegboyega Oyetola, CON, Honourable Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, delivered a pivotal address at the Stakeholders’ Engagement with ship owners and operators. The event, which took place from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Eko Hotels and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos, aimed to discuss and strategize on advancing Nigeria’s maritime sector.

Minister Oyetola warmly welcomed the esteemed stakeholders and honoured guests, emphasizing the significance of the gathering in shaping the future of Nigeria’s maritime industry. He highlighted the vital role of the marine and blue economy sector in stimulating national economic growth and development, especially amidst the complexities of global trade and economic uncertainty. The government has identified this sector as a key focus area and is dedicated to creating an enabling environment that supports businesses and promotes overall sector growth.

The minister acknowledged the critical contributions of ship owners and operators, recognizing them as the backbone of the maritime sector due to their roles in trade, transportation, and job creation. He also addressed the challenges they face, including safety and security concerns, regulatory hurdles, and market fluctuations. Minister Oyetola assured the audience of the government’s commitment to resolving these challenges and fostering a conducive operational environment.

Highlighting ongoing efforts, Minister Oyetola spoke about the positive impacts of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Act. This legislation has enhanced safety standards, enforced regulations, and boosted investor confidence. Additionally, the government is exploring fiscal and trade policies to increase Nigerian participation in the shipping industry. A significant initiative in this plan is the unlocking of the Cabotage Fund to support the growth and development of local shipping businesses, with the Ministry committed to implementing this soon.

The minister stressed the need for a holistic approach to the shipping industry. This includes investments in fleet expansion, improvements in regulatory frameworks, enhancement of local manpower and capacities, and fine-tuning operational efficiencies. He emphasized the importance of collaboration among regulators and stakeholders to streamline processes and enhance efficiency, aiming to reverse unfavorable trade terms for the benefit of Nigeria’s economy.

Minister Oyetola encouraged open and constructive dialogue among all participants to renew collective hope and aspirations for the maritime sector

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