President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has extended an invitation to countries, especially within Africa, to capitalize on the abundant investment opportunities within Nigeria’s burgeoning blue economy. He also emphasized the need for the Nigerian Navy and other maritime stakeholders to strive for a secure and prosperous maritime future that benefits all. Stressing Nigeria’s vital role in Africa and the world, President Tinubu underscored the importance of fulfilling these responsibilities.

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President Tinubu’s message was delivered by Vice President Kashim Shettima at the opening of the 2024 International Maritime Conference held at the Naval Dockyard in Lagos. He highlighted that a thriving blue economy is essential for national vibrancy, achievable only through a progressive naval force. He called for unwavering commitment and dedication from the officers of the Nigerian Navy and their international counterparts, dubbing them the “lifeguards of our maritime environment.”

Addressing the attendees, the president stressed the significance of the conference in inspiring stakeholders to see the larger picture, recognizing the collective responsibility to the continent and the world. He urged everyone to work towards a maritime future that is secure, prosperous, sustainable, and beneficial to current and future generations. He encouraged attendees to explore and leverage the investment opportunities within Nigeria’s blue economy.

President Tinubu emphasized that the economic potential of Africa remains unrealized without prioritizing the protection and development of the maritime environment. Globally, the blue economy is valued at over $1.5 trillion annually, with projections reaching $15.5 trillion by 2050. The “Africa Blue Economy Strategy” estimates that Africa’s blue economy currently generates nearly $300 billion, creating 49 million jobs. This is expected to grow to $405 billion by 2030.

He also congratulated the Nigerian Navy on its 68th Anniversary, acknowledging their crucial role in national security over the years. The president lauded the marine forces for maintaining balance and stability in the country.

Earlier, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, the Chief of Naval Staff, highlighted the importance of the 2024 International Maritime Conference. Organized to commemorate the Nigerian Navy’s 68th Anniversary, the conference aims to enhance the Navy’s capabilities and strengthen collaborations in safeguarding the nation’s maritime environment. He noted that the forum provides a valuable platform to build on the achievements of the combined maritime task force, supporting the development of the blue economy across the continent, the sub-region, and Nigeria in particular.