The group, in a statement jointly signed by its leaders, Nwabueze Obi and Ekwem Eucharia, also said that the President made the right choice in appointing Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo as the Minister to man the affairs of the new Ministry.
The group expressed optimism that with Tunji-Ojo in charge of the ministry, the annual revenue losses occasioned by Nigeria’s inability to substantially harness its ocean resources will be a thing of the past.
The statement read: “Nigeria will benefit from $1.5 trillion world Blue Economy with the creation of Marine and Blue Economy Ministry by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Blue economy is marine-based economic developmental process which leads to improved wellbeing through sound management of marine resources, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, transportation, and maritime and inland ports.
“However, despite the massive resources in the blue economy which involve marine transportation and exploitation of living and non-living resources in the maritime environment, it has been revealed that the Nigeria’s maritime sector is losing trillions annually due to its inability to exploit this resource base.
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“Stakeholders have argued that harnessing the ocean blue economy would help to reduce African poverty and enhance food and energy security, employment, exports and economic growth.”
“For instance, in 2009, exports from Nigeria were $80.1 billion and N49 billion as the goods were carried on Freight on Board (FoB), whereas imports to Nigeria stood at $942.3 billion and 33.9 billion and these were carried on Cost insurance and Freight (CIF).
“Evidently, the economy lost the maritime insurance and freight elements of both our export and import trade worth $122.4 billion in 2008 and $82.9 billion in 2009. We commend President Tinubu for finally creating this long overdue ministry, this will also create jobs for our youths.”