The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Mr Piriye Kiyaramo says the step taken by Governor Douye Diri to construct the Nembe-Brass road to link Brass Island and several other coastal towns and villages by road is geared towards opening up the state to the Blue Economy Corridor that would accelerate maritime businesses in the state.
Mr Kiyaramo noted that coastal and marine tourism, being an important component of the sustainable Blue Economy, represent significant share of the tourism industry, supporting more than 6.5 million jobs, second only to industrial fishing.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Tourism who made the remark while exchanging views with Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State Council, Comrade Samuel Numonengi in his office at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Yenagoa over the weekend, maintained that investing in ocean health, is synonymous with generating ocean wealth.
He reiterated that sustainable marine and coastal tourism can drive the blue economy corridor, informing that “with the anticipated global growth rates of more than 3.5%, coastal and marine tourism is projected to be the largest value-adding segment of the ocean economy by 2030, at 26%”.
The SSA on Tourism furrher stated that the Blue Economy Corridor in the state could apply technology on traditional and emerging marine industries, in alignment with the state and local economic development plans as catalyst to harness the state’s maritime resources to create more jobs and increase the internally generated revenue.
He explained that the anticipated maritime economy corridor would equally catalyse the economic development agenda of the prosperity administration to achieve prosperity for the people, stressing that the Senator Douye Diri led-Prosperity Administration is the best thing that has happened to Bayelsa State, given the governor’s passion for holistic socio-economic transformation of the maritime state.
The governor’s aide said focus on the blue economy will attract marine industrial activities, including construction works, transportation, mineral resources development, ship building, communication cable laying, pharmaceutical enterprises, equipment deployment, sustainable energy from waves, currents, seaside leisure tourism, fisheries and aquaculture.
He pointed out that Nembe-Brass road project in Bayelsa East Senatorial District, Oporoma-Ukubie Road project in Bayelsa Central District and Sagbama-Ekeremor-Agge Road project in Bayelsa West Senatorial District, linking hundreds of coastal communities the state’s economy will be integrated with the dynamic global value chains of developed economies.
Mr Kiyaramo, who described the Blue Economy as an integration of sustainable development and green growth, pointed out that the blue economy places emphasises on overall-planning and coordinated development between marine ecosystems, ocean and coastal zone economic systems.
He add that the blue economy is targeted at sustainable and productive services and other related activities, while protecting the coastal and marine resources.
On his part, chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Samuel Numonengi, who commended the governor for taking such bold step towards linking hundreds of coastal communities to the state capital, noting that investing in the age long Nembe-Brass road project at this point in time with slim resources, speaks volumes of the governor’s passion for development of the state.
Comrade Numonengi also corroborated the fact that the establishment of industrial corridors in the state would prevent distress migration and provide rural people with job opportunities close to their dwelling places, adding that industrial corridors will prevent concentration of industries in one particular location which could exploit the environment beyond its carrying capacity and likely to cause environmental degradation.
He said the media will continue to play its role of information, enlightenment and entertainment to ensure that the citizens are properly informed of the programmes and activities of the prosperity administration under Senator Douye Diri.