“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.”
Psalm 107:23-24 KJV
“Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee.”
The above Bible verses speak to the amount of global wealth that is traded on the sea and treasures that reside inside the ocean. King David wrote about it and Prophet Isaiah proclaimed it. African Union in a report said the Blue Economy can fetch Africa over $300 billion annually.
Maritime lawyer, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) and other industry experts said Nigeria can get between N7 trillion to N10 trillion annual revenue from maritime economic activities and the sector can create opportunities for thousands of new jobs with the right laws and targeted reforms.
The earth is 71% ocean and 29% land. United Nations Conference of Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said 80% global trade is moved through the sea.
To understand the amount of trade that moves on the sea daily, an estimated $3.4 trillion volume of trade which represents 21% of global trade passes through the South China Sea annually. About 80% of the world’s maritime oil and 9.84 billion tonnes of cargo pass through the Indian Ocean in a year with over $9 trillion in total trade.
In 2022, the Suez Canal, in Egypt, which is the shortest trade route between Europe and Asia recorded $8 billion in revenue while 20,649 vessels passed through the canal in 2021.
President Tinubu held the bull by the horn with the new Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy. The new ministry will catalyse economic growth and bring a new era of prosperity to Nigeria in the months and years ahead.
It is expected that the ministry will not only help Nigeria tap into the world’s multi-billion dollar industry, it seeks to strengthen Africa’s largest economy to compete globally.
-Ajayi is Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity