The Chairman, Nigerian Ports Consultative Council (PCC), Otunba Kunle Folarin has described the maritime sector of Nigeria as the economic agenda for sustainable development and enduring success.
Folarin who made this assertion in a lecture he delivered at the 5th Anniversary and Programme re-launch of Port Gist and Event on TV and Award ceremony held in Lagos recently with the tittle,” Harnessing Nigerian Maritime Resources for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development”, said that investing in the nation’s maritime industry was the only way to move the economy of the nation forward.
He maintained that the size and strategic importance of the maritime sector impacts on all the key sectors in the commanding height of the nation’s economy adding that the four pillars of revenue generation, territorial security, economic development and social responsibility were domiciled in the maritime economy.
According to him,” The size and scope of the maritime sector demand close attention by its value in the political, economic and social structure of the nation. The issues at stake are the prime indicators of the critical factors that propel the growth and the dynamics of Nigeria as a developing Economy and largest regional power in West and Central Africa. In actual fact, Nigeria husbands at least 70% of the political economy of the region.
“By recent statistics, Nigerian imports over 150 miIlion metric tons of non-oil cargo and approximate 1,500,000 units of containers a year. These figures are for the formal trade alone and will certainly be bigger if we consider the informal trade aspects of cargo movements. Ship traffic into Nigeria by latest data exceeds 5,307 per annum. The potential is certainly bigger when we consider the capacity of cargo traffic to Nigeria’s land locked countries. In real terms, over 85% by value of all the goods and services that enters the country comes through the sea ports. The current aggregate exceeds $15,000,000,000 a year through formal import orders. It is therefore settled that the maritime sector performance is indeed a major contributor to the nation’s economy”.
He observed that there was a compelling need for strong and durable strategic alliances between the Federal Ministry of Transportation and key Federal Government Ministries some of whose functions interphase with those of the ministry in harnessing the potentials of the sector.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Producer/Publisher of Ports Gist on TV/PEB Magazine, Dr. Kayode Farinto noted that the theme of the event,” Harnessing the Nigerian Maritime Potentials in Order to get Nigerian Economy out of Recession”, was chosen in fulfillment of the Corporate Social Responsibility of the organization assuring that whatever contributions put together at the event would be forwarded to the Federal Government as input for implementation.
Photo: Otunba Kunle Folarin
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