The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has challenged the Nigerian maritime students to give in their best and be the best in their chosen profession as nothing is static in life.
Peterside who gave this charge while speaking on the topic, “Maximizing Nigerian Blue Economy for Sustainable Benefit Future Generations”, at the 4th Annual Students Conference organized by the Platforms Communications in Lagos recently advised the students to work hard to develop keen interest in the blue economy as there were inherent benefits in it for them.
Represented by Mrs. Felicia Chinwe Mogo, Head of Marine Environment of NIMASA, the DG explained that the blue economy entails tapping into the resources of the marine environment while giving full respect to that marine environment so that one makes it sustainable which according to him was about the ability to utilize the resources available to man now without jeopardizing the opportunity of the future generations to also benefit from such resources.
He said, “Why this emphasis on blue economy now? Man is always trying to adjust and to adapt. We can see that we have overstretched the resources we have on the earth and new effort now is to look at new frontiers of socio-economic well-being. So, that is why the interest is more now on the ocean and thank God we have the ocean.
“It may also be pertinent for us as you are reflecting on this concept to connect it to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When we talk about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the goals that the United Nations set for us to be able to benchmark and see how far we are doing with management of resources we have for us. We remember the SDG 14 and Article 14.7 of the SDG 14 really talked about using these resources in the ocean especially for small island states and you know we have some islands especially at the Caribbean that are small and are surrounded by ocean.
“So, the best thing for them is to make sure that they make adequate use of the ocean and we have to resort to the least developing countries. We are no more in the list of the least developing countries but we have to be wise and see how these people for example, Seychelles are using these resources and we now tapped into that to also use the 850sq Kms of coastlines we have with its abundant resource”.
The NIMASA boss alluded to the popular saying that an aging population cannot talk about sustainability even as he posited Nigeria was lucky to have been blessed with a young population as it had been said to have one of the largest population of youth which according to him was a plus.
“When you have an aging population, of course, the workforce is also nose-diving, aging but where we have a population of youth and we know that youth is strength; youth is always associated with success, with strength. When we talk about sustainability, we are talking about utilizing the strength that we have in our youth that has been classified as one of the largest in world. And we talk about the ocean; research has shown that we have even more resources in the ocean than we have on the earth. We have large fish stock with other resources, we have solid minerals, we have a lot of wealth and values actually in the Nigerian ocean.
“So, this topic of actually looking beyond sea time cannot be as important as it is today. So, we are encouraging you, anywhere you are, be the best there, be the best in your chosen career, then you can now see that nothing is static. Even if you are moving on there, you can also talk about multiple streams of income, you can decide to be an entrepreneur tapping into the resources that we have that already have secondary resources coming from it because when we have these mineral resources, we have vessels that are also servicing the work and things like that and people own them. You can be vessel owner”, he added.
He continued,” It will also be important for you to know that NIMASA has actually realized the importance of our keying into this blue economy and that it is not only NIMASA that can do it. That is why the agency has in place a committee on blue economy implementation in Nigeria”.