September 27, 2023

Nigeria @ 63: Nigeria Need To Look Beyond Oil, Gas By Thinking Of Other Area We Can Breath – Engr. Obaseki

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By Simeon OSAJIE

The Managing Director of Independent Television and Radio (ITV), Engr. Elvis Obaseki has admonished Nigeria government to look beyond oil and gas sector as the only source of our revenue generation, noted that the only way Nigeria can get out from the quagmire we seems to be face with, is by thinking of other areas where the Nation can breathe again outside the sector., pub-3120625432113532, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

Obaseki made the assertions during pre-independence lecture organized by the Management and staff of Independence Television and Radio (ITV) with the topic, “Nigeria @ 63: Harnessing the Potentials in the Maritime Sector” delivered by former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Temisan at the Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub on Airport Road, Benin City.

In his welcome address, Engr. Elvis Obaseki said the topic, “Nigeria @ 63, Harnessing The Potentials In The Maritime Sector” is very significant, noted that Nigeria have to look back at oil and gas, because we know that the only way we can get out from the quagmire we seems to be face with, is by thinking of other areas where Nigeria can breathe outside the oil and gas sector.

He said, the pre-independence lecture is to set the torn for our Independence day, and ITV has remain at the forefront being an independent platform to celebrate the independence of Nigeria by having a discourse of this nature. It would always get better every year.

According to him, “The Benin Port project has already come and it has come to stay.  We should be thinking of ways of keen into such areas.  Edo is practically shifting from being called ‘Civil Service State’.  I don’t think Edo State is a civil servant state anymore.”

He thank the founder of ITV/Radio, Sir Chief Dr. Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin Kingdom for establishing ITV platform for management and staff of the station to celebrate the independence of Nigeria by having a discourse of this nature.

“I can tell us that the event committee particularly inviting some persons whose interest and ambition is tight to the future of our state. It is very apt to tell you that what our guest speaker would be putting on the table today, is some of the event we would look at especially when we are talking about globally in our economy,” he said.

Presenting his lecture topic: “Harnessing The Potentials In The Maritime Sector”, former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Temisan Omatseye said to be a maritime nation, we must exhibit that level of confidence on our ability to achieve national objectives by harvesting the rich marine resources and optimizing the benefits that the seas provide. Mobilizing the country’s maritime attributes must at all times be pursued with determination as much depend on these for the country to progress. It is telling the world, we are ONE NATION.

“We must begin this campaign by assessing the pillars which constitute the framework upon which a maritime nation stands: Institutions, legislation and regulations, and policy. This he said calls for integrating the maritime industry, which remains fragmented, resonate across the country.

“However daunting the task of bringing together the various maritime sectors, it is still worth the effort, based on the overwhelming response of those who believe ours is a maritime nation.

“Nigeria government to rise and work towards producing maritime human capital which match national and global demands. But we must also develop other maritime sectors at a much quicker pace such as shipbuilding and repairs, shipping and ports services, logistics and the provision of ancillary maritime products and services among others.

“Stakeholders must be engaged and their inputs solicited in the review of maritime institutions, legislation and regulations and policies. In this, government must lead by adopting a comprehensive national maritime policy that defines the long-term strategic direction for MARITIME NIGERIA,” he said.

Going further, Temisan added that Nigeria is a coastal state zone with about 653 kilometers coastline. Her Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers a total area of approximately 315,950 square Kilometers. With vast marine environment subtending enormous resources, the Nigerian maritime sector has remained largely untapped, yet it has a variety of investment potentials cutting across mining, manufacturing and service industries.

He said the current functional structure of the Nigerian maritime sector is composed mainly of the port industry shipping and ancillary services, offshore services, shipbuilding and ship repair, marine services, bunkering services. Etc.  Cluster services include the various professional support services relied on by the transportation and ancillary services to facilitate regulatory compliance, competitive edge and operational.

“Nigeria requires a safe, secure and enabling Maritime Domain to drive a strong, diversified, sustainable and competitive economy and the passing of a National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) will drive this process.

“Nigeria is a littoral State with a coastline of about 466 Nautical Miles (853km) and Territorial Waters of 12nm, Contiguous Zone of 24nm, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200nm and 10,000km of inland waterways. These areas contain mineral resources including oil and gas deposits and installations which constitute the mainstay of the nation’s economy.

“Thus, as a coastal state, Nigeria has jurisdiction over an extensive maritime area with significant living and non-living maritime resources that make a substantial contribution to the country’s economy. It is pertinent to note that about 80 per cent of the national budget is based,” he concluded.

Also, the panelist discussion was anchored by veteran broadcaster and former Acting General Manager of Independence Television and Radio (ITV), Mr. Tony Abolo while the panelists were Dr. Casley Omon-Irabor, Constitutional/Human Right Lawyer, National President Human Rights Defenders, Hon. Pius Alile, Founder Pius Alile Coalition Initiative and Bishop Osadolor Ochei, Human Right Gospel Defender Advocate.

They also dwell on how Nigeria as a Nation can breathe again outside the oil and gas sector.

In their good will messages, Hon. John Yakubu, a frontline Edo 2024 governorship aspirant under the platform of PDP and Hon. E. J. Agbonayima a frontline governorship aspirant under the platform of APC appreciated management and staff of ITV for chosen the topic and deeming it necessary to invite them to such auspicious event to also gain knowledge on how Edo State in particular and Nigeria at large can more breathe again outside the oil and gas sector.

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