The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, has assured that Nigeria would take the lead in harnessing the abundant resources of the blue economy among African countries.
According to a statement by the ministry’s Director, Press and Public Relations, Eric Ojiekwe on Thursday, the minister disclosed this when the Secretary-General, International Seabed Authority, ISA, Michael Lodge and his entourage paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
Sambo said it had become a challenge as out of the 12 exploration projects in developing countries around the world, none was in Africa.
While acknowledging that the resources in the sea far outweighed those on land, the Minister said the country was lucky to have an organization like ISA to help it explore and exploit its untapped blue economy.
Regarding the workshop, Sambo advised that the outcomes be escalated to the President and the National Assembly to accord it priority attention.
Also speaking, the Secretary-General, ISA, Michael Lodge informed that the workshop was to “create awareness in Africa and hopefully at some point in future encourage African States and investors to look at the possibility and participate in deep-sea exploration as they only look towards the lands”.
He believed that the resources of the deep blue should be enjoyed by all and not just the rich and technologically advanced countries.
Earlier, the Ambassador to Jamaica and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative on International Seabed Authority, Dr. Maureen Tamuno, thanked the Minister for providing enabling environment for the workshop to hold and for providing access to enable them visit the Maritime Academy, Oron, Akwa Ibom State to assess its readiness to provide required competences for future activities in the deep seabed sector.