Rosemary P. Amali
I recently had a great discussion on “Blue Economy “with one of my friend and former colleague James Sindama who works with NIMASA.
My close colleagues and students will attest to my profound passion in anything that has to do with aquatic environment and it resources. My academic career and research focuses more on Aquatic ecology.
The land is failing. It is time to look other way. The consistent depletion of the terrestrial resources and the need to revive our dwindling economy is necessary. Nigeria being a country that possess a great amount of littoral Components State blessed with inland water and marine environment.
The blue economy has been defined as use of the Sea, Oceans, Lakes, Rivers and its resources for sustainable economic development as a parallel to the “green economy” concept.
The Blue Economy is based on a vision of “improve wellbeing and social equity of the people” while significantly reducing environmental risk and ecological extinction with constant monitoring of the activities by relevant stakeholders.
A report presented by the African Development Bank (AfDB) revealed that to achieve a significant decline in Africa’s poverty rate, we will require the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at an overall average of seven per cent. To achieve this goal, experts believe it is of paramount importance that we diversify.
The blue economy has six major sectors which include fisheries and aquaculture, marine biotechnology, seabed mining, oil and gas exploration, renewable energy, shipping and to add to the list is ‘irrigation farming’.
Kogi state has the potential and ability to exploit all the major sectors of the Blue Economy.
The enormous benefits to be gained from the exploitation of Kogi state’s inland water resources can neither be overemphasized nor overlooked. The great economic benefits that stand to be enjoyed by a State with an effective blue economy are of almost limitless in all ramifications.
Looking at our Governor “PYB” sorry “GYB” pointing at one of the nature gift to the State, One could imagine what capture his interest. Is the Governor and his team thinking in the direction of Blue Economy? Just of recent, Kogi State was announced to be added as state endowed with crude oil. This is a gain to the State and the people! But, as we celebrate this achievement, the State should not turn it back from other aspect of the economy rather put more effort to harness it. In doing so, Kogi will not be making the mistake Nigerian government made in the past after discovery of crude oil and they abandoned it ‘old wife’ agricultural sector a mistake we are still suffering till date.
I believed our dear Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello and his Youthful team are working out plan to diversify our monoeconomy.
Kogi state is blessed to be the confluence state, a State where the two major Rivers in Nigeria met. The Rivers have only been utilize for just fishing, navigation and irrigation. Even these activities has not been fully harness in a way that will generate enough revenue to the state.
STRATEGIES TO ADOPT
These strategies may include the following:
Training of our Youth in different areas of this sector
Providing security for ease of doing business
Implementation of policy and laws
Provision of soft Loans to Farmers
Ecosystem integrity etc…
To effectively harness our blue economy it is commendable that Government of Kogi state through the relevant stakeholders recognized the importance of unlocking the full productive potential of Kogis’s water bodies and appropriate strategies must be in place to actualize this dream.
God bless Kogi State!
God bless Nigeria!
NEXT…. FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE IN KOGI STATE.