By Godwin Oritse
TRANSPORT Minister, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has indicated that a strategic maritime transport plan has been concluded and waiting the approval of the Federal Executive Council, FEC.
Amaechi who spoke at the at the just concluded Regional workshop on the United Nation Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, which focused on the process to mainstream the maritime sector, said that the document will provide a robust enabling framework for achieving Nigeria’s maritime objectives.
He added that the plan will foster public-private sector collaboration and inter-regional cooperation on sustainable development across the continent.
He stated: “Nigeria is working on a Maritime Transport Plan and Strategy, which when completed, will provide a robust enabling framework for achieving Nigerian maritime objectives.”
He stated further: “A process to mainstream the maritime sector is not new. However, the need for nations and critical stakeholders to find a common approach in ending poverty and hunger has heightened the focus on it today.’’
Regarding the workshop which was hosted by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Amaechi noted, ‘‘as the African Continent forges ahead with phase 11 negotiations for the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA, the maritime sector remains critical to seamless trade and effective economic integration between African nations.
“Our approach, therefore, towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals, SGDs, is contingent on our joint effort and ability to put in place the much needed cooperation framework in collaboration with critical stakeholders using the maritime sector as a veritable tool to promote agricultural development, food security, industrialization and economic transformation of our nations, region and continent.
“Many maritime states in the region have dedicated considerable attention in recent years to the development, drafting and implementation of national and regional strategies to give expression to the SGDs.
‘‘Stakeholders from the region are gathered here today to discuss at a critical time on the issue of mainstreaming the maritime sector into 2030 agenda for sustainable development and indeed the National plan of member states through cooperation framework.
‘‘Most importantly, I am confident that the discussions would indeed birth innovative solutions and mechanism towards the implementation of the 2030 agenda in the order to foster inclusive and sustained economic prosperity and development for our respective nations.’’
Amaechi commended the International Maritime Organization, IMO, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UNECA, as well as the NIMASA for organizing the workshop.