Maritime Industry to become Major Revenue Earner for Nigeria - Dr Taiwo Afolabi

Maritime Industry to become Major Revenue Earner for Nigeria - Dr Taiwo Afolabi 

Kathy Kyari 

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, chairman of SIFAX Group, has said that the marine industry's infrastructure problems, currency crunch, lack of technological adoption, inconsistent policies, and other problems are only a phase that would soon pass.

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi stated this in his opening remarks at the J.F. Ajayi Auditorium in Lagos on Friday at the 5th Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime (TAAM) Conference, which was organized  by the Maritime Forum of University of Lagos.
According to Mr. Bode Ojeniyi, M.D. Sky Capital, who represented Dr. Afolabi, stated that the issues have largely limited the sector's ability to contribute significantly to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but if well harnessed, the maritime industry has the potential to become a significant revenue earner for the country, particularly with the development of new technologies.
Dr. Afolabi also advised marine industry players to maintain their concentration because the non-oil sector is progressively taking over as the foundation of the nation's economy.

‘We have funded our national budget in the last few years majorly without proceeds from oil but from other sectors. The day of our over reliance on oil is behind us now and it is about time we focus on transitioning from an oil-dependent economy to non-oil reliance. The maritime sector will play a crucial role in this economic transitioning if more attention is committed to the industry’ he stated.

In his paper presentation, Dr. Temisan Omatseye, a former director general of NIMASA, also mentioned the maritime industry's wealth of potentials and urged conference attendees to fully capitalize on them.

‘Nigeria is considered as a maritime nation by virtue of having a coastline of over 850 nautical miles extending to an exclusive vote of 250 nautical miles which total over 90,000 square miles of ocean at the same time. In other words, the maritime industry is a great industry and we are not taking advantage of it as we should’ he opined.
Panel discussions with participants including Mr. Bodunrin Adewole, President, Maritime Arbitrator Centre, Barrister Funmi Folorunsho, Secretary General, African Ship Owners Association, Dr. Emeka Akabogu, a well-known maritime attorney, and Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke, President, Women International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA), were among the event's highlights.

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