Osinbajo Seeks Continental Response To Maritime Challenges
Strengthening the coast guard function and timely exchange of information by African countries will help build a stronger maritime industry and improve trade facilitation.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, made the recommendation on Thursday at the third annual conference of the Association of African Maritime Administration in Abuja.
As part of the opening ceremony of the conference tagged: ‘Sustainable Use Of Africa’s Ocean and Seas’, a new Logo for the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Professor Osinbajo who said the challenges facing the sector are not insurmountable, however tasked African countries to take advantage of the incredible opportunities to tackle the difficulties.
“The challenges are many but not insurmountable. As things stand, Africa’s fishing grounds are being pillaged, it waters are polluted and piracy is heightening maritime insecurity and causing increases in the cost of insurance and trade. Many difficulties but incredible opportunities.
“The good news is that we are on the right path, collaboration and synergies. Our countries have to continue to develop the maritime sector, beginning with the national level to the sub-regional and regional levels,” he said.
The Vice President further suggested better regulatory framework and human development as crucial factors for development in the industry.
He stressed the need for countries to ensure a coherent and collaborative continental response to the challenges facing African maritime.
“Here in Nigeria, we have taken steps to tackle some of the issues peculiar to us while still requiring regional and sub-regional collaboration. As African maritime administrators and regulators, it’s my respectful view that you must ensure a coherent and collaborative continental response to the challenges facing our maritime space.
“This will require cooperation amongst our states and agencies, and with other segments of society, including the private sector. It means that governance issues and appropriate legal and regulatory frame works must be put on the front burner, alongside timely exchange of information.
“In addition, issues of maritime security and safety must continue to receive priority attention as we strive to make Africa a valued player in the international maritime community,” he said.