This book aptly describes Nigeria’s maritime assets, an abundant source of wealth thatcould save the nation from economic swings whenever there is a downturn in the prices of crude oil, upon which the economy largely depends.
As the country moves towards economic expansion, the maritime sector provides the best opportunity for diversification of the economy, Nigeria should seize the opportunity offered by the sector and pay due attention to the assets domiciled therein. This becomes even more pertinent in the light of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
The author rightly suggests that for Nigeria to harness its Maritime Assets in the process of economic diversification, the Government should develop an integrated Maritime Roadmap in which government, regulators and operators need to set out a clear vision, high-level goals and integrated actions in order to realize the country’s marine potentials. This is a clarion call on all involved to look inward and develop these potentials instead of looking outside.
The book points out that “at the moment there is gross underutilization of these abundant maritime assets”, and suggests the need for the government to recognize this fact and set up a Maritime Coordinating Committee to develop a policy framework for harnessing these assets. This, the author posits could come in the form of an Integrated Marine Plan for Nigeria. Given the socio-political milieu and the key challenges besetting the growth of the maritime sector, the creation of ocean wealth can best be harnessed by embracing new ways, new approaches and new thinking towards changing the narrative and providing a new momentum for growth in what has today come to be known as the ‘Blue Economy’.
Also of note as a critical force for harnessing of Nigeria’s maritime assets, is the author’s argument for a synergistic harmonization of Governance, Maritime Security Architecture and Maritime Infrastructure Development to create a profitable convergence which he terms the “Enabling Triangle”
Overall, the author’s literary voyage spans Nigeria’s maritime past, present and includes a peek into the future where through his recommendations he calls for collective national action to fully harness the assets in question. This is food for thought for policy makers not just in Nigeria but for every maritime nation.
Rt Honourable Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi
Honourable Minister of Transportation
15th August, 2018