June 19, 2024

Tinubu pushes for international cooperation on maritime security for blue economy


By Evelyn Usman

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has emphasized the importance of international cooperation on maritime security to unlock the vast potential of Africa’s blue economy.  

The President spoke at the 2024 International Maritime Conference in Lagos, held to commemorate the Nigerian Navy’s 68th anniversary, at the Naval Dockyard Limited, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Represented by the Vice President, Kashmi Shettima, the President, acknowledged the transnational nature of maritime threats and the need for greater international collaboration to address them.  

The conference with the theme, “Promoting the Blue Economy in Africa through International Cooperation on Maritime Security,” according to him,   aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14, the Vision of Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy 2050, and Africa’s Agenda 2063.

He noted that “Significantly, the blue economy is estimated to be worth more than US $1.5 trillion per year globally and projected to increase to US $15.5 trillion by 2050. The “Africa Blue Economy Strategy” estimates that the blue economy currently generates nearly US $300 billion for the continent, creating 49 million jobs in the process.  The Africa Blue Economy is projected to hit US $405 billion by 2030.  

“It is very appropriate to state categorically that any collaborative initiative by the Nigerian Navy to build partnerships across African navies and Coast Guards is in the right direction.

While applauding   the Nigerian Navy’s efforts in confronting security challenges in the maritime domain and partnering with other agencies to mitigate threats, the President, expressed his administration’s commitment to supporting the Nigerian Navy’s statutory responsibilities and regional and international collaboration efforts to provide a secure environment for Africa’s blue economy to thrive.

He said: “Since its formation 68 years ago, the Nigerian Navy has imbibed the realities of  our national imperatives and has continued to confront contending issues, by   adopting the most optimal policies and strategies to address the rapidly   changing security challenges in our nation.  

“As an important branch of our armed forces, the Navy has over the years evolved and reinvented itself to effectively deal with the threats in the maritime domains. It has also partnered with other maritime agencies to mitigate these threats affecting our national development. However, these threats have become transnational, beyond the scope and capability of one nation to deal with. The situation calls for greater international collaboration.

“Our continent is very rich and endowed with living and non-living resources, having vast strategic economic resources in her blue economy. A secured maritime environment, one that is free from threats such as piracy or other criminal activities is essential for the sustainability of Africa’s blue economy.  

“Let me affirm that this event comes at a critical period when Nigeria faces multifaceted security challenges. It therefore calls for improvement in security conditions required to significantly raise the contribution of the marine and blue economy sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.  

“Notwithstanding the challenges of the moment, I am glad to reiterate that my administration is determined to ensure that the Nigerian Navy is supported to achieve its statutory responsibilities.  

We shall also support regional and international collaboration as well as partnership efforts of the Nigerian Navy towards providing the enabling environment for Africa’s Blue Economy to thrive”, he stated.

President Tinubu urged stakeholders to use the conference as a catalyst to foster international cooperation on maritime security towards advancing the blue economy agenda. He also urged participants to explore investment opportunities in Nigeria’s blue economy and enjoy the country’s rich cultural heritage.