UK, US to partner Nigeria to develop Marine & Blue economy


The British and the United States governments have both expressed their willingness and readiness to partner the Nigerian Government towards developing the newly created Marine and Blue Economy ministry to support the country's economic growth. 


The representatives of the two countries made this known on Tuesday, during their separate meetings with the minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, at his office in Abuja.


The US delegation was led by Ambassador Jessye Lapenn, the Senior Coordinator for Atlantic Cooperation, while that of the British was led by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Richard Montgomery.


Speaking during the visit, Ambassador Lapenn, who noted that the minister was the first person she was visiting after the ministerial meeting for Atlantic Cooperation, which was convened by the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken on the margins of the 78th United Nations General Assembly, UNGA in New York, said the US government was willing to offer technical support to the ministry with a view to supporting Nigeria's economic growth through the sector.


She further said that the two countries would also be exploring technology to solve some of the challenges in the Marine and Blue Economy sector.


On his part, the British High Commissioner, Dr.  Richard Montgomery, expressed the government's desire to partner with the Nigerian Government to tackle the challenge of illegal fishing in Nigeria's waters, just as he applauded the decision of the minister to embark on a PPP arrangement in terms of investment in the sector.


He noted that the British Government was willing and ready to share information and precautionary lessons with Nigeria with a view to partnering it to protect its marine resources.


The minister while separately thanking the teams for the visits, noted that Nigeria through the new ministry, would be willing to develop coastal tourism and create a conducive atmosphere for businesses to thrive.


He expressed Nigeria's commitment to implementing the Atlantic Cooperation initiative declarations.


"We are committed to rehabilitating our ports for efficiency. I am particularly excited about the desire to partner with us to tackle the challenge of illegal fishing in our waters.


"We believe that marine fishing will support our economic growth and create job opportunities, especially for our youths. We will equally be leveraging the UK's  Blue Planet Fund, aimed at supporting developing countries like us to protect the marine environment and reduce poverty, especially now that there is a Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy in place in Nigeria," Oyetola added.

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