Osinbajo tasks Nigeria, other African nations on blue economy 

The federal government says it was high time Nigeria joined the league of big nations that have reaped significant commercial windfalls from the exploration and exploitation of the vast mineral resources in her continental shelf and beyond.

The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, stated this Wednesday in Abuja when he formally declared open the 2-day international workshop with the theme: “Promotion of Sustainable Development of Africa’s Deep Seabed Resources in Support of Africa’s Blue Economy”.

The Vice President lamented the failure of Nigeria, and indeed African countries, to take advantage of the vast mineral resources derivable from the deep seabed within her continental shelf, adding the boundless potentials therein tended to have been neglected in chase of even less attractive ventures.

“The United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea provides for all nations to explore and exploit mineral resources in the sea, build national jurisdiction for the common benefit of mankind in accordance with the regulatory framework provided by the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

“In this regard, there is a need for Nigeria, and indeed Africa’s industrial stakeholders, relevant organisations and private entities and NGOs, to synergise efforts towards strengthening the engagements of African states in the activities undertaken in the international seabed areas.

“This will significantly improve data acquisition and sharing, advanced technical capacity, and ultimately enhanced decision making in Nigeria and African maritime domain.

“It is my firm believe that this workshop will engender thought provoking discussions and provides implementable ways and guides as well as awaken the consciousness of African states towards evolving strategies for the sustainable development of Africa’s blue economy through the exploitation of our abundant deep seabed minerals”, Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of State for Transport, Prince Ademola Adewole Adegoroye said.

Meanwhile, the ISA Secretary General, Mr Michael Lodge urged African nations to tap into the resources of the deep seabed to facilitate their industrial development and to gain from researches on marine technology and to secure resources with low impacts on the environment.

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