NIGER DELTA BLUE ECONOMY INVESTMENT FORUM – PREPARING FOR A FUTURE LESS RELIANT ON CRUDE OIL
The Niger Delta Region of Nigeria has played a pivotal role in the economic and political evolution of Nigeria since its independence. It’s difficult to imagine what kind of Nigeria there would be without the discovery of crude oil at Oloibiri in 1956 in the area now called Bayelsa state.
The crude oil has shaped Nigeria, its politics, economy, its people and to a considerable extent its role in the World. The prefix ‘Giant’ associated with Nigeria in relation to the rest of Africa is not of size but the boom created by the crude oil.
However, the consequences are not pretty; pollution, environmental damage, neglect and the consequential militancy of youth – generations that have grown up without proper education.
There is therefore a human necessity for a clean break from this painful period of monumental cultural sabotage. The Blue Economy would herald a new horizon of possibilities as oppose to a very corrupt culture of entitlement perpetuated by the crude oil. The crude oil was a natural endowment misused hence has not had the beneficial lasting effect that could have served the purpose of human development.
STRATEGY FOR THE NIGERIA BLUE ECONOMY
After the successful conclusion of the recent Nigeria Blue Economy Stakeholders Conference that brought major stakeholders together for a robust discussion and input from experts from within and outside the country and its communique expected to constitute the basis of policy formulation and legislation to underpin the Blue Economy in the country, the next step in the process is the Niger Delta Blue Economy Investment Forum.
NIGER DELTA BLUE ECONOMY INVESTMENT FORUM –
23RD – 28TH MAY, 2022
The Niger Delta Blue Economy Investment Forum is territorial specific to change the dynamics of a region that was sold on the inexhaustibility of crude oil and set the stage for a new future that is green and sustainable with practical projects demonstration, illustrations, submissions that will be local priority specific with these key stakeholders initiatives; states are expected to employ experts knowhow to determine their coastline development and profiles.
The core delta states being brought together as the core amongst the littoral states will create more intensity for the national advocacy of development of the Nigerian Blue Economy. The package of their respective projects with the help of experts should further engender local knowhow that would attract foreign investments.
The Blue Economy solution calls for decongestion of Lagos; to reduce the pressure on the Apapa port by encouraging the construction of new sea ports along the coast and along the River Niger that can serve the other parts of the country. Because if we employ the standard international metrics, there should be at least twenty seven functional ports of varying sizes serving a growing population that is rapidly approaching a quarter of a billion people. The case for construction of new sets of sea ports along the Nigeria Atlantic Coast which these littoral states are ready to undertake is overwhelming.
OBJECTIVES OF THE FORUM
- Advance the national discuss on the imperative of a Blue Economy in Nigeria through practical demonstration of actual projects at the state level;
- Provide the platform for individual state to exhibit their Blue Economy projects for both local and international investors;
- Create a mechanism for peer review amongst the state to encourage open competition;
- Create a database for the states to serve as a repository of information about development in the blue economy sphere;
- Establish a thriving open source for investment information on the Blue Economy in the region;
- Above all, construct a demonstrable tapestry for the youth of the Niger Delta Region of a world of opportunities that would challenge their creativity, entrepreneurial skill in contrast to a culture of entitlement and deprivation.
METHODOLOGY OF THE FORUM
- It is conceived to give each of the Niger Delta states full exposure to the media, local and international investors;
- It is aSIX day long event that will enjoy extensive pre and post event online and offline focus;
- Each state would have a platform/booth (20×10m) of its own that would be decorated to its own taste;
- Each would have an exclusive ONE DAY(in rotation) called their own when increased media exposure at the venue will be devoted to them during which it can entertain and market the state Blue Economy potential to the whole world;
- The forum will enjoy continuous live TV coverage all day and would be streamed live online;
- There would be a parallel platform (common hall) at the venue for presentations of academic research papers and youth re-orientation dealing with the Blue Economy.
ASABA, DELTA STATE – 23RD – 28TH MAY, 2022
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