The Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo, has assured that Nigeria will take the lead in Africa in harnessing the abundant resources of the ‘blue economy’ for her benefit.
The minster, who disclosed this when the secretary-general, International Seabed Authority (ISA), Michael Lodge and his entourage paid him a courtesy visit yesterday in Abuja, said that it has become a challenge, as out of the 12 exploration projects in developing countries around the world, none is in Africa.
While acknowledging that the sea-based resources far outweigh those on land, the minister said the country is lucky to have an organisation like the ISA to help her explore and exploit her untapped blue economy.
Sambo further advised that the outcomes from the workshop be escalated to President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to make it a priority.
Also speaking, Lodge said the aim of the workshop is to “create awareness in Africa and, hopefully, at some point in future encourage African states and investors to look at the possibility [of] and participate in deep-sea exploration [instead of] only looking towards the lands”.
He believed that the resources of the deep blue should be enjoyed by all and not just the rich and technologically advanced countries.
Earlier, the Ambassador to Jamaica and Nigeria’s permanent representative to the International Seabed Authority, Dr. Maureen Tamuno thanked the minister for providing an enabling environment for the workshop to hold and for providing access to enable them visit the Maritime Academy Oron, Akwa Ibom, to assess its readiness to provide required competences for future activities in the deep seabed sector.