Maritime sector can take Nigeria out of recession – Folarin

Otunba  Kunle Folarin

Chairman, Port Consultative Council (PCC), Otunba Kunle Folarin has reiterated that the nation’s maritime sector is capable of bailing the country out of economic recession if its huge potentials are well harnessed and needed structures put in place.

Folarin who spoke at the Port Gist and Event on TV 5th anniversary and Programme Re- Launch held in Lagos yesterday said part of the measures would be to provide the infrastructural base in the port system, human capital and manpower development.

In his lecture titled ‘Harnessing the Nigeria maritime potentials in order to get Nigeria economy out of recession’ the PCC chairman while highlighting some potentials of the sector noted that 85 percent of goods and services in the country is carried out by sea hence the need to put in place structures that will make the sector contribute its role in the development of the economy

“The maritime sector is the custodian of the nation’s international trade. The international trade generates revenue that Nigeria uses to service the economy. About 85 percent of goods and services in the country is done through sea. That suggests that we need to put in place structures that will make the sector to play out and respond to the need of the economy.

“That could be translated into developing the manpower necessary to drive the economy. Provide the infrastructural base in the port system that will make sure that the economy can thrive on that platform and most importantly create a balance between the need of the country and the opportunities within the port industry. The port industry is strategically positioned to deliver on this promise.

“All we need to do is to harness all these principal elements together, the manpower, the human capital, the infrastructures” he said.

Folarin cited the example of Singapore and Malasia which he said do not enjoy the same opportunity Nigeria has as a maritime nation but have their economies depends solely on their maritime sector because they harnessed the full potentials of the sector.

“Other countries have achieved this, For example, Singapore, Malasia and India have all achieved by harnessing all the potentials in their maritime sector together to drive the economy. The economy of Singapore depends solely on their maritime sector.

“Particularly we are blessed and in stronger position than Singapore because the products that we need to drive the economy is domiciled in the country whereas the other countries are transit economies but we are a domicile economy so we are in a better position to benefit from the sector,” he said.

Folarin urged the government to create the needed platform that will make the economy benefits maximally from the sector.

According to him, the government should give incentives, bring direct foreign investment and encourage local entrepreneurs as well as increase the manpower and empowerment opportunities for people to take part in the economy.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Managing Director, Port Gist and Event on TV, Kayode Farinto said one of the challenge faced by the producers of the programme is lack of fund even as he solicited support from stakeholders to keep the programme running.

Highlight of the event was the presentation of awards to some distinguished personalities in the sector.

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