By Providence Adeyinka and Prisca Achonu
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday, challenged stakeholders on the need for a holistic evaluation of Nigeria’s maritime sector, noting that, “we are not where we ought to be”.
Amaechi who spoke at the 2021 World Maritime Day Celebration with the theme, “Seafarers: At the Core of Shipping’s Future” held in Lagos, however, stated that the ministry would continue to pursue policies and programmes that will make the maritime industry attractive to local and foreign investors and sustain the implementation of International Maritime Organisation, IMO, Instruments to ensure the safety, well-being and empowerment of Seafarers.
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He stated: “We will continue to pursue policies and programmes that will make the maritime industry attractive to local and foreign investors and sustain the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) instruments to ensure the safety, well-being and empowerment of Seafarers.
“I urge you to holistically evaluate Nigeria’s maritime sector with a view to making useful suggestions that will consolidate the gains we have achieved so far. We are not where we ought to be as a nation, and will welcome constructive engagements for an improved maritime industry for Nigeria,” he said.
Amaechi expressed the ministry’s concern about the Seafarer Workforce Report which warns that there could be a shortfall in officers by the year 2026. To bridge the resource gap in seafaring he said there is the need to actively promote careers at sea and enhance maritime education and training to support the diverse skills needed for a greener and more digitally connected maritime industry.