Harnessing Nigeria’s Marine and Blue Economy Potentials

By David Adekunle


Nigeria’s President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu on assumption of office in 2023, created the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy with the hope that it would make the sector work optimally for Nigeria’s desired growth and development.

The marine and blue economy has the potential to diversify the Nigerian economy and manage the age-long dependency on oil and gas.  It will also expand the nation’s revenue base and place Nigeria on the world map on sea-related investments and management of resources therein across the water bodies and the Atlantic Ocean.

The focus of the ministry is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth. It is expected to revolutionize Nigeria’s maritime industry and provide a significant boost to the country’s economy.

Over the years, experts in the sector have said that it is one of the best ways the government could boost the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and be part of international activity, which is believed to have the capacity to increase revenue generation. Thus, Nigeria’s vast under-utilized blue economy offers huge opportunities for growth and development for the country to overcome its present economic challenges and attract investments into the sector.

Committed and sustained exploitation of resources in the blue economy is a job creation enabler, capable of improving food security, enhancing tourism and infrastructure development as well as giving real meaning to the country’s green energy pursuits among other benefits.

Nigeria’s Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola has at different forums highlighted the benefits that Nigeria would derive from the Marine and Blue Economy.  The minister says the country will leverage the activities in and around its oceans, seas, and coastal areas to generate over $70 billion yearly for the nation’s economy.

There are few Nigerians on vessels across the world and developments in this sector will increase the country’s participation in the industry.  In a country that is grappling with the challenges of unemployment, the sector is helping to create jobs for the youth and retain them for maximum benefits.

As a new ministry, exploring the potential of Nigeria’s Marine and Blue Economy would lead to the creation of new wealth not thought of possible before now by President Tinubu’s administration for the accelerated growth and development of Nigeria.

Economic diversification away from over-reliance on fossil fuel proceeds and looking more to the wealth inherent in, around, and under the nation’s waters have been of top priority in President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s bucket list. It forms part of his government’s Renewed Hope Agenda for the government to seek other means of wealth creation as well as revenue generation.

Initially, Nigeria has been losing out in the massive opportunities inherent in the multi-trillion dollar marine and blue economy in the world, but with giant strides undertaken and the blueprint approved, all relevant agencies should be committed to meeting the set targets to make the sector works for a better future for Nigeria.

As Nigeria moves towards another year in the Tinubu administration, there is an urgent need to consistently explore and push stakeholders to significantly exploit the good fortune identified to further boost and increase Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) through the marine and blue economy sector. The Tinubu administration has opened Nigeria’s doors for investments in the sector and it is left to the investors’ home and abroad to cash on the opportunity that guarantees a high return on investments in Nigeria.




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