Maritime industry stakeholders converged at the 2nd Lagos International Maritime Business to Business Conference and Exhibition to brainstorm on the growth and development of the maritime sector.
The event, which started in Lagos yesterday, focused on taking the Nigerian maritime industry to a higher level, according to the organisers.
The convener of the event, Barrister (Mrs.) Oritsematosan Edodo-Emoren, said the theme of the conference, “Dynamism and Maritime Investment in Africa”, is to attract businesses into the industry where countless opportunities abound which remain untapped.
“The essence of this conference is to stimulate maritime investment in the sub-region but particularly in Nigeria and also bringing in business from the sub-region on a one-to-one basis, sharing and cross-fertilisation of ideas and the impact it will make in the maritime sector is by bringing in different delegates from all over the country to discuss about Nigerian business in the ports,” she said.
Mrs. Edodo-Emoren stated that the Nigerian maritime industry is still developing, a situation which necessitates the need to create a platform where Nigerian operators can network with their counterparts from African countries and other parts of the world.
“We are a developing country, even though we are work in progress. We are making progress but there is much more that should be done and one of the most important things to do is to create infrastructures that make maritime investment possible. For instance in Nigeria, a lot of such infrastructure is lacking or is dilapidated and one of such is access to the port; the access road is dilapidated and something has to be done.
“If we are talking about maritime investment and using the maritime industry to turn around Nigerian economy, we have to face headlong the issue of access to the ports,” she said.
Also speaking at the event, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mrs. Nike Akande said there is need for government and relevant stakeholders in the maritime industry to harness its potentials for the benefit of the people.
She said, “Nigeria has marine resources needed to develop a sustainable blue economy to support the traditional economy and these potentials need to be managed and harnessed to provide additional capacity for government to generate more revenue, create jobs and reduce poverty and unemployment in Nigeria.
Also speaking, Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Olarenwaju Elegushi, who represented the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, said government is doing all it can to make sure access roads that lead to the ports are repaired.
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