FG To Boost Development In Maritime, Blue Economy Sector- Oyetola


By Stella Enenche, Abuja

The Federal Government has expressed readiness to drive development in maritime and blue economy sector by improving on the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola disclosed this on Wednesday when members of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OTPS) led by its Executive Director, Gwueke Ajaifia paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

Oyetola who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Oloruntola Olufemi said the leadership is obviously abreast with the situation on ground adding that this administration
is keenly interested in taking all the necessary steps that can strengthen partnerships, create a suitable environment for investors and drive growth and development within the system.

He said the Ministry is being kept on its toes as regards realising the goals of this administration and takes with all seriousness complaints and challenges that poses or tends to obstruct attainment of this goals.

“The traction that the ease of doing business is being given now across all sectors, it is being monitored on a daily basis, we are being put on our toes, the agencies are being kept on their toes, we would still need you to help. If someone is demanding illicit demands and for the sake of your operations you are cooperating, you won’t be helping the system.

“You have the promise and commitment of this Ministry, write the Ministry to raise issues, we will respond with openness accordingly; don’t delay or keep quiet because what we don’t know, we don’t deal with”, he said .

He disclosed that the biggest political will that can ever happen to the sector has just been deposited by the creation of the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.

Oyetola, in a statement signed by the ministry’s Muhammad Zakari, on behalf of Director Press and Public Relations,
therefore, assured them of the Ministry’s commitment to the cause.

Speaking earlier, the Executive Director, Oil Producers Trade Section (OTPS), Gwueke Ajaifia stated that the Marine space is a very important space for the industry, noting that more than 60 percent of oil production comes from the Marine space.

According to Ajaifia, OPTS is attached to the Lagos Chamber of Commerce hence they represent the oil and gas industry.

This is even as he noted that they have 29 members inclusive of 5 international oil companies.

Speaking on the basis of the visit, “We are today struggling with a request from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) they want to be involved in the marine waste management for the sector.

He noted that this levy is already being collected by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, and it would amount to multiple taxation should the companies they represent pay this new levy as requested by NIMASA.

He subsequently solicited on the Minister to use his office and address some of these challenges.

He identified the challenge of multiple levies by government agencies stating that it is having multiplier effect on many companies and IOCs are leaving the shores of Nigeria due to insecurity, kidnapping, and high cost of production in the country, pointing out that these are all happening in the Marine space.

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