The newly sworn Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, officially began his ministerial duties in Abuja on Monday.
Accompanied by his wife, Kafayat Oyetola, his son Femi Oyetola, and fellow cabinet members from Osun state, Minister Oyetola arrived at the ministry’s conference room. Dr. Magdalene Ajani, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. George Moghalu, Managing Director of NIWA, Emmanuel Jime, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, and several ministry Directors warmly welcomed him.
Addressing the ministry staff, Oyetola urged them to collaborate with him in finding innovative solutions to sector challenges, with the ultimate aim of ensuring safety, reliability, and sustainability in the oceans and marine domain.
He highlighted the immense value of the blue economy, projecting it to be worth over $1.5 trillion annually on a global scale. He stressed that Nigeria, considering the vast expanse of its blue economy, should play a significant role in this sector. By doing so, the country could contribute substantially to its revenue generation and employment opportunities for the jobless population.
Oyetola further pledged to devise practical strategies for optimizing inland rivers, lakes, and waterways for both cargo transportation and passenger travel.
In his words, “Our planet’s oceans cover more than two-thirds of its surface, holding the key to sustainable economic growth, environmental preservation, and technological innovation. Looking forward, my vision revolves around responsible management and utilization of our marine resources, benefiting our economy and the planet’s health.”
“As experts estimate the global worth of the Blue Economy at over $1.5 trillion annually, Nigeria, with its significant blue economy, should emerge as a notable player in the sector, contributing substantially to the country’s revenue and job creation.”
“We must formulate feasible approaches to maximize the potential of our inland rivers, lakes, and waterways, allowing smooth cargo and passenger movement. Achieving this involves comprehensive dredging of vital inland waterways to facilitate the passage of goods and people.”
Oyetola, who previously served as the governor of Osun state, committed to enhancing collaboration among key agencies like the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, the Nigerian Ports Authority, and the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority. Drawing from his private sector background, he emphasized greater private sector involvement and efficiency through specialization and the clear definition of core responsibilities.
He concluded by expressing his desire to bring about positive change and leave a lasting legacy for future generations. He viewed these initiatives as contributions toward realizing the President’s renewed Hope Agenda in the Marine and Blue Economy sector.
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