THE Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, called for greater maritime input for Nigeria's attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
Sanwo-Olu said the country must put in place deliberate measures for the optimal utilisation of its enormous maritime potentials.
The governor said this in Lagos on the occasion of the 2020 World Maritime Day, with the theme, "Sustainable Shipping For Sustainable Planet."
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, commended the Federal Government for its plan to move containers across the country with barges, stressing that it would bring about more efficiency and ease pressure on the roads.
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According to the governor, "The theme of this year's World Maritime Day, is apt and timely when we need to pay rapt attention to making our shipping process more environmentally friendly.
"It is also coming at a time when we need to support the maritime industry to contribute its quota to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development by 2030.
"We need to optimise the potential of the maritime industry by utilisingour waterways to transport goods and services from one destination to another locally. In respect of this, I must commend the Federal Government for the plan to begin transportation of containers from Lagos to Onitsha through barges and subsequently, to other parts of the country."
In his keynote address, the Minister of Transportation, ChibuikeAmaechi, acknowledged the security challenge in the country's waters and called for synergy among stakeholders in tackling the problem.
Amaechi, who joined the event virtually from Abuja, identified the secure anchorage issue as one that required greater understanding and transparency on the part of stakeholders.
In her remarks, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Lynda Ikpeazu, commended the recent collaboration between the Nigeria Navy, Nigeria Police, and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, in addressing maritime insecurity in the country.
Speaking also at the occasion, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, Agency's commitment to the security of the country's marine environment through the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also known as the Deep Blue Project.
He said over 85 per cent of the assets needed for the project's full take-off has arrived the country, stressing that the training process for officers that would operate the various equipment is being concluded.
According to him, "The determination of the agency to ensure sustainable use of the seas and oceans is clearly demonstrated by our establishment in 2008 of a specialised department in charge of marine environment management. With the current collaboration between NIMASA, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police, and other security agencies, I am convinced that the future of maritime security in the country is very bright."