Unlocking Nigeria’s Blue Economy: A Path to Billions in Annual Revenue and Economic Diversification – Similar to the Philippines, Nigeria has the potential to capitalize on its maritime activities, leveraging the resources in and around its oceans, seas, and coastal areas to contribute over $70 billion annually to the national economy.
Dr. Olusola Odusanya, the Director General of the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM), made this assertion during a workshop in Abuja. The workshop, titled ‘Unlocking the Potential of Market-Ready Technological Solutions for the Blue Economy in Nigeria,’ aimed to raise awareness among stakeholders about the substantial benefits of harnessing the blue economy. Dr. Odusanya emphasized that Nigeria’s expansive blue economy presents significant opportunities for growth, offering solutions to the country’s current economic challenges.
Hosted by NACETEM, the event attracted participants from various organizations, including the Nigerian Shippers Council, Lagos Inland Waterways, Nigerian Ports Authority, Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, National Fish Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists, and Raw Materials Research and Development Council.
With a coastline stretching 852 kilometers along the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean and a maritime area exceeding 46,000 square kilometers, Nigeria boasts a wealth of natural assets, including mangrove swamps, creeks, coastal rivers, estuaries, bays, and offshore waters. Eight states, representing 25 percent of Nigeria’s population, share the Atlantic Ocean coastline.
The NACETEM DG underscored that the sustainable exploitation of blue economy resources could result in job creation, enhanced food security, tourism, infrastructure development, and green energy, among other benefits. He highlighted the Philippines, which generates $70 billion annually from its maritime workforce, and emphasized the need for Nigeria to tap into similar opportunities.
Charting a Course for Nigeria’s Blue Economy: Insights from Leaders and Experts on Economic Diversification and New Wealth Creation
Acknowledging the government’s commendable vision in prioritizing the blue economy, Dr. Odusanya urged stakeholders to align themselves as enablers of government policies to fully realize the sector’s potential. He emphasized the seriousness of the blue economy, noting that it creates new wealth for the nation.
Prof. Theophilus Ndubuaku, the Secretary General of the Academic Staff Union of Research Institutes (ASURI), added that the blue economy could contribute trillions of naira to Nigeria’s annual revenue with proper measures in place.
Maria Tumai from the United Nations University, Japan, presented virtually and identified the blue economy as a viable means for Nigeria to diversify its economy away from oil, following the successful examples of other nations generating substantial revenue from their ocean economies. Tumai urged Nigeria to seize the opportunities in the multi-trillion dollar blue economy and shift away from dependence on fossil fuel proceeds.
Unlocking Nigeria’s Blue Economy: A Path to Billions in Annual Revenue and Economic Diversification