Maritime nations need finance to invest in fossil fuels, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Mr Kitack Lim, has said.
Lim said this at the 2022 Nigerian International Maritime Summit held in Lagos on Monday.
He noted that this would help reduce carbon footprint in the environment.
Lim stressed the need for a market-based measure to be adopted to help generate funds used for technology development of fossil fuels.
“Decarbonisation is one of the challenges of our time owing to the fact that climate change has started having its impact on developing nations.
“Decarbonisation and automation are critical to shaping the future, and IMO has set the target of cutting down emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030 and 70 per cent by 2050 across international shipping,” he said.
He said that IMO would partner the Nigerian government to achieve port community system for the west and central Africa region.
Lim said that IMO would support Nigeria’s maritime industry to achieve cleaner oceans and greener shipping system.
He commended the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for effectively collaborating with local, regional and international partners to achieve success in the war against piracy.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Mu’azu Sambo, while declaring the summit open noted that finance was a critical driver for unlocking the potential of the blue economy in Africa and in particular Nigeria.
According to Sambo, sustainable financing models are importiant to build critical maritime assets such as shipyards and ports across the country.
He noted that the need to reshape the way the shipping industry operates in the face of current and future challenges, ranging from changing climate and decarbonisation by 2050 cannot be overemphasised.
“Nigeria’s commitment to the sustainability of the blue economy is demonstrated by the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“To this end, an Expanded Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria (ECSBEN) under the leadership of no less a person than the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is driving the implementation process and to perfect the agenda for a national strategy.
“This agenda is focused on providing an assessment of the current realities, opportunities and challenges for economic diversification and the growth of a sustainable blue economy.
“It includes the identification and review of relevant policies and institutional/capacity-building mechanisms,” he said.
The minister said there was a need to identify regional and cross-border partnerships for the implementation of the blue economy plan.
“This summit is an important step in the continuing shift in strategic thinking about the blue economy.
“ It will undoubtedly serve as a benchmark for stakeholders in Nigeria and beyond to further develop innovative strategies to sustainably harness the vast potential of the blue economy.
“It is my hope that the deliberations at this event will lead to viable solutions for overcoming this challenge,” he said.
Alhaji Aminu Umar, the Chief Executive Officer, Sea Transport Group, pointed out cardinal points industry stakeholders needed to push to help reduce carbon emissions.
“There is a need to optimise voyage plan, the vessel speed should be reduced and fuel consumption so as to reduce carbon footprint.
“Efficiency of the port will help the reduction of waiting time and this is because waiting to berth creates so much carbon burning,” he said.
Also, Mrs Margaret Orakwusi, the Chairman, Morbod Group, noted that in tackling the challenge hampering meeting the objectives, there was the need to reduce old vessels plying the waters.
Orakwusi called for information sharing among stakeholders, nothing that whatever that happens in a country could affect the other.
Some of the dignitaries at the event include Dr Magdalene Ajani, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mr Emmanuel Jime, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr George Moghalu, Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority, among others.