Nigeria requires sustainable financing models to build critical maritime assets


By Steve Agbota, LagosThe Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has said that sustainable financing models are important to build critical maritime assets such as shipyards and ports across the country.Sambo who disclosed this at the 2022 edition of the Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS 2022), said the agenda of NIMS captures important questions, opportunities and challenges associated with the nation’s quest for achieving a sustainable approach to harnessing the blue economy in Nigeria.To highlight a few, he said finance is a critical driver for unlocking the potential of the blue economy in Africa and in particular Nigeria, adding that Nigeria’s commitment to the sustainability of the blue economy is demonstrated by the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).To this end, he stated that an Expanded Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria (ECSBEN) under the leadership of no less a person than the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is driving the implementation process and perfecting the agenda for a national strategy.“This is in addition to the identification of regional and cross-border partnerships necessary for the implementation of the blue economy plan, the relevant sectors, actors and linkages, and the development of a national action plan with an implementation strategy for the Nigerian blue economy,” he stated.“At this juncture, it is my pleasure to inform His Excellency the Secretary-General, of the impressive landmark achievement in the area of anti-piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. Since the commissioning of the deep blue project by our President in June 2021, now over a year ago, not a single incident of piracy has been recorded in our maritime domain,” he added.Also speaking at the summit, the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Kitack Lim said: “I am aware of Nigeria’s significance to the maritime sector of West and Central Africa. Carbonisation is the greatest challenge of our time which IMO are working to address. The upgrading strategies shall be concluded in July 2023. By next year, we shall adopt the long time strategy, however, prior to that time, we shall continue to support member countries.”H commended the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Nigerian Navy on the suppression of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea but cautioned that stakeholders must continue to remain vigilant as continuous capacity building is key to success in this regard.Speaking during the panel session on the challenges confronting de-carbonisation and greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping sector, Kitack Lim stressed that the IMO is working on financing future fuels, adding that finance is necessary for technology for future fuels.

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