Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, has urged maritime leaders in Africa to float strong shipping lines that could create jobs, generate revenue and compete globally.
Speaking at the third Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) conference in Abuja, he said the future of Africa’s maritime sector remained bright as the continent could boast of untapped maritime potential.
Amaechi called for stronger intra-African cooperation by way of information sharing, stronger regulatory functions and wider stakeholder collaboration to ensure all-inclusive maritime administration.
He assured the visiting maritime delegates that Nigeria would contribute to the growth of the maritime sector in Africa by helping to tackle the various challenges plaguing the industry.
“Now, we are experiencing low tonnage, piracy, unregulated fishing sector, environmental degradation and so on. Our waterways are underdeveloped and so we rely on foreigners. We don’t have coast guards. We need to strengthen the maritime industry. We need to build capacity in manpower and enforcement.
“Africa depends on imports from other countries carried by their vessels. These are despite our vast maritime resources. We need to change these and Nigeria will play a role in this,” he said.