The Nigerian immigration Service, Rivers State Command, Monday, hosted a one day workshop on the potentials of the maritime and Blue Economy, themed: the Coastal State of Rivers and Benefits of the Blue Economy: Stakeholders Perspective presented by Dr Emi Membere-Otaji at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt.
Declaring the workshop open, the Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, GSSRS, lauded the Nigeria Immigration Service for their proactive and innovative approaches to providing services especially in Rivers State as he called on sister agencies to support the State and Federal Government harness the abundant natural resources in the State.
Governor Fubara maintained that Rivers State Government shall give full support to the blue economy project through sustained policies and guidelines, as well as encourage private and public sector participation for the overall benefit of Rivers people.
The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Wenike Danagogo maintained that, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s initiative in creating the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy to oversee the economies of the ocean was well-timed. Adding that, Rivers State, being a major coastal state that is endowed with rich ocean resources will leverage on the vast opportunities marine and blue economy offers.
Speaking, “this workshop perspective is apt, particularly with the emphasis on the sustainable development of ocean resources by the Federal Government. I enjoin all stakeholders to take this training seriously, as the State Government is ready to implement recommendations that will emanate from the workshop.
“As you are aware, the blue economy, according to the UN is the sustainable use of our ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihood and jobs while preserving the health of our ocean ecosystem. Other opportunities such as green infrastructure in the area of renewable energy, maritime, tourism, offshore oil and gas, aquaculture, shipping and logistics, marine biotechnology, etc. These are areas that will generate employment for our youths and in turn, produce ripple effect on our economy and internally generated revenue”, he added.
In the same vein, the Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Headquarters, Abuja, Mrs Caroline Adepoju, thanked Governor Fubara for collaborating with and supporting the Immigration Service to host and ensure the success of the Blue Economy Workshop. She revealed that the Nigerian Immigration Service has carried out a SWOT analysis of the blue economy potential in the State.
“If properly harnessed, the blue economy will go a long way to enhance the economy of the State. I call on sister agencies and ministries to be on their toes to ensure we support and stand against anything that can stand against the economy of the nation”, she said.
She assured that the Nigerian Immigration Service will continually play its role effectively to attract Foreign Direct Investment into the country. She also appreciated the Governor for providing a second passport office for the Immigration Service.
Also, the Comptroller Rivers State Command, Sunday James, noted that the workshop being organised in synergy with Rivers State Government is historic as Rivers State Government is keying into the establishment of the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.
The workshop had other technocrats and heads of related agencies who spoke and presented papers on diverse areas of the maritime and blue economy such as the Nigeria Shippers Council, NIMASA, Nigeria Ports Authority, the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture, etc.