The Federal Government has initiated frantic efforts aimed at safeguarding the Atlantic Ocean and other marine resources in the country. Government believes that intensifying efforts at studying and sanitising the Atlantic Ocean will result in huge benefits to the economy and humanity.
Disclosing this at the opening ceremony of the 5th high level industry, science and government dialogue on the ‘Atlantic Interactions’, held in Lagos yesterday, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the minister of science and technology, says government was determined now more than ever, to understand the Atlantic Ocean and the associated benefits.
“The success story of Victoria island, the beautiful Island in Lagos State is one of Nigeria’s most developed islands, and is today one of Nigeria’s busiest centre of banking and commerce, hosting headquarters of most major Nigerian and International corporations.
“The success story of this island shows the need for Nigeria to join the rest of the world to intensify efforts at studying the Atlantic Ocean, which will result in huge benefits to humanity”, Onu stated.
According to the minister, understanding the Ocean will facilitate the creation of wealth, jobs, accelerate the reduction of poverty among Nigerians and curb ocean pollution to benefit all.
“The benefits of the study of the Atlantic Ocean are numerous, but it is important to mention that this will also help create the opportunity to build friendship among countries, help solve the problem of the environment, including global warming and climate change.
“This will help give hope to those whose livelihood depends on the Atlantic Ocean, thereby promoting peaceful coexistence among nations”, Onu opined.
Participants at the two-day dialogue is jointly organized by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and the Atlantic International Research Centre (AIR Centre) cut across nations, including Portugal, Brazil, the USA, Namibia, the development the minister says is a calculated efforts aimed also to encourage scientists to start studying the other oceans of the world.
“I am impressed that scientists, engineers and other professionals from all over the world are working together using their knowledge of space, the atmosphere, oceans, climate, energy and Big data to study the Atlantic Ocean.
“Government is convinced that if efficiently exploited, the Atlantic Ocean can provide for our needs. We are prepared to handover a clean Atlantic to our children and the time to work towards this is now”, Onu concluded.
Describing this latest effort of government as ‘exceptional development initiative’, in his goodwill message, Engr. Mansur Ahmed, the president of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), affirmed members support of efforts aimed at improving the environment and preserving the natural endowments for the benefit of humanity.
Ahmed expressed the gratitude of MAN to the Federal Government particularly the Ministry of Science and Technology for the diverse support systems so far created to enhance sustainable manufacturing in the country. “Noteworthy are the efforts of the Ministry towards development of local input for production and reduction in the dependence on foreign input; linkages between Industries and Research Institutes; facilitation of Industrial Research base on manufacturers’ needs and the implementation of the Executive Order 005 aimed at improving local content in public procurement and the Science, Technology and Innovation Promotion Roadmap and many more”, says MAN president.
According to him, effective management of the Atlantic Ocean and its resource endowments is central to beneficial trade, transportation, maritime activities, employment creation, poverty reduction, food security, industrial development, commercial transactions and safety of the environmental.
“This is the reason the synergy being promoted by the focus of our dialogue today is not only commendable but germane if we must explore the Atlantic Ocean sustainably for the utmost benefit of Humanity and safeguard of our environment.
The effect of poor management of the ocean and coastal lines are numerous and usually devastating. For instance, abuse of the coastal lines strongly accounts for the level and magnitude of flooding that occur in our coastal cities”, Ahmed stressed.
According to him, MAN is aware of the importance of protecting and sustaining the environment, particularly the ocean waters and as a matter of policy, encouraged members to adopt best practices in the management of waste and has established structured partnership platforms with Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) and other regulatory bodies with similar mandate to ensure seamless compliance to environmental standards.