Oyetola Meets New UAE Ambassador To Nigeria

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Blue economy
L-R: The United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Salem Saeed AlShamsi and the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, H.E. Adegboyega Oyetola at the Ministry in Abuja.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola has met with the new Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Nigeria, H.E Salem Saeed AlShamsi who paid the minister a courtesy visit at work.

The ambassador highlighted several issues for discussion with his host, with the aim of enhancing mutual, diplomatic and economic relationships between Abuja and Abu Dhabi.

The issues discussed included the memorandum of understanding (MOU) previously signed by administrators of Lagos ports with the sovereign administration of UAE. Oyetola expressed that it was a “wrong step for a port to take with a sovereign nation, rather than for a port with another port and for a country to have with another country. It is wrong for a port of Nigeria to agree with a sovereign country; it should be port to port.”   ” Oyetola clarified that a MOU should indicate the intention to agree; it is not an agreement. Hence, any issues can still be remedied.

Furthermore, Oyetola expressed his delight at the new envoy’s early visit and mentioned several areas of possible cooperation to be explored by Nigeria and UAE in the marine and blue economy.

He stated, “We look forward to what UAE can offer Nigeria in her quest to rehabilitate and rejuvenate its aged port facilities and infrastructure. Our ports have aged infrastructure and we look forward to [your] assistance in building and modernising infrastructure in many more of our ports, starting with the Deep-Sea Port in Lekki, Lagos, the Ondo Port and the Burutu Port.”

Oyetola also mentioned the need to embrace modern technology in the fishery sector and to combat illegal, unreported fishing in Nigeria’s marine sector. He emphasised that the collaboration with UAE could help Nigeria transition to a blue economy to replace the declining oil and gas economy.

Following the discussions, Oyetola expressed his interest in visiting the UAE, especially with the resumption of flight links between the UAE’s national airline, Emirates and Nigeria.

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