The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, is targeting maritime tourism as a means of growing the nation's economy. It, therefore, called for a concerted effort by stakeholders towards the development of coastal and maritime tourism in the country.
NIMASA's Director General, Dakuku Peterside, who disclosed this while receiving an award at the Second Edition of the National Tourism and Transport Summit held in Abuja last week, said if the industry is fully harnessed, it can contribute greatly to economic growth.
He charged stakeholders and investors in the industry to tap into the huge opportunities in maritime tourism, which is a crucial part of the Blue Economy.
He assured potential investors that NIMASA would help to create an enabling environment for their businesses to thrive.
Peterside urged coastal states to follow the example of Lagos in making conscious efforts to harness their maritime potential.
Represented by the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Bashir Jamoh, at the event, he explained that with Nigeria's maritime endowments, maritime tourism could be a major revenue earner and a huge contributor to the government's economic diversification agenda.
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"While the tourism potential in other aspects of the economy is being maximised to a reasonable extent, the potential of coastal and maritime tourism in Nigeria remains grossly under-tapped," Peterside stated.
The Institute of Tourism Professionals, ITP, organisers of the Summit, said they presented the award of Outstanding Maritime Operations Regulator of the Year (Sea and Offshore) to NIMASA in recognition of the Agency's commitment and strategic initiatives towards the development of the sector.