By Eguono Odjegba
President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has said that despite numerous negative perceptions that have dogged the nation’s maritime industry, the sector has the potential to accelerate Nigeria’s economic development beyond its crude revenue earnings.
The senate president who was speaking at the second edition of the All Nigerian Maritime Journalists Retreat held at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, ASCON, Topo Badagry, weekend, organized by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria, AMJON, which conferred on him the Award of Excellence for Legislative Independence.
In his remark, the senate president noted that one of the channels necessary to achieve increased growth projection in the maritime industry is through quality reportage and adequate sensitization of the public on the activities of government in the sector.
He commended AMJON and the maritime press for doggedness and vibrant journalism, even as he called on maritime journalists to hold all ministries, departments and agencies involved in the country’s import/export business accountable for the people.
Represented by Chief Kayode Odunaro , the senate president said, “Over the past few decades, Nigeria has been on the receiving end of several negative notions bandied around regarding the maritime sector which have undoubtedly hampered its development. Many of these have been based on preconceptions or a reliance of past policies and processes which may have been ineffective at the time.
“The solution to changing this negative narrative rests largely with objective journalism, journalism which can shed light on legislative, infrastructural and policy changes that will attract domestic and foreign investment in the maritime sector.
“I am of the firm belief that with a coastline of over 800km, the maritime sector has the potential to accelerate Nigeria’s economic development rate beyond its crude oil revenue earnings; and it is for this reason that we all must nurture and support its development and growth.”