Ehi Prima: Blue Economy Will Boost Nigeria’s Revenue — No Reason for Deficit

Ehi Prima, Editor Naija TimesThe new Ministry of Oceans and Blue Economy says Nigeria’s economy is full of opportunities to grow.

On August 16, President Bola Tinubu Published the list Ministers and their portfolios, Adegboyega Oyetola as Minister of Transport and Bunmi Tunji-Ojo as Head of Marine and Blue Economy – a new ministry.

However, after a few days, the President declared His cabinet reshuffle has reshuffled Oyeola as Minister of Marine and Blue Economy and Tunji-Ojo as Minister of Interior.

Speaking on Monday during a Sunrise Daily, Channels Television programme, Primea said the blue economy has the potential to add trillions of naira to Nigeria’s annual revenue if steps are taken to address the loopholes.

The journalist, who said he has been studying the blue economy since 2020, noted that implementing a credible strategy and taking cues from established models around the world would help the new minister learn the ropes quickly.

He said the African Union estimated the potential of the blue economy on the continent to be around $300 billion.

“If we do things right, Nigeria will make a lot of money. In fact, we have no reason to be in deficit,” he said.

„Just imagine, about three years ago, our appropriation budget was N10.5 trillion, which is about $29.42 billion. We were using the ratio at that time. Today, we have a budget of N21.83 trillion with a deficit of N12.1 trillion.

“If we stop all leakages and improve our revenue streams, Nigeria has no business in deficit.

“In fact, our revenue should be in the region of 40 to 50 trillion naira every year and the blue economy that has just been created will increase that revenue.

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“There are a lot of opportunities… It’s about creating a credible strategy and learning more about the blue economy.

“For the benefit of the new minister heading the ministry, there are already established models, so let’s start from there.

„We can learn from the Republic of Ireland, for example, South Africa, Seychelles – they established blue economy models. In 2012, it was the Republic of Ireland, then in 2014 – it was South Africa, then Seychelles in 2015.

„Secondly, the opportunities for development – revenue growth, job opportunities, livelihoods. I can talk about fishing. There’s a lot of fishing going on in our coastal communities. I’m talking about transportation – maritime transport, shipping.

Prima said the country was losing a lot of revenue due to non-development of sea transport, adding that more vessels exporting goods from Nigeria would reduce pressure on the country’s foreign exchange.

He also said that the new ministry will create jobs in various sectors in the country, especially that there will be a lot of inter-agency collaborations under the ministry.

While Prima said the lack of accurate data and maritime insecurity would pose challenges, he expressed confidence that experienced hydrographers and the Nigerian Navy would help the new ministry sail smoothly.

The marine and blue economy oversees economic activities related to oceans, seas and coastal areas.

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