Home » EXCLUSIVE: Oniru moves to create jobs in maritime, plans shipping line

EXCLUSIVE: Oniru moves to create jobs in maritime, plans shipping line

by Samson Echenim

The King of Victoria Island in Lagos State, traditionally known as Oniru of Iruland, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal has set out on a cause to create jobs for Lagosians in maritime sector.

The Economy can authoritatively report that the technocrat royal father is already working with some investors in Nigeria’s shipping industry and may be planning to float a shipping line.

On top of the list of those working with the Oba to actualize this plan is the Secretary General of the African Shipowners Association, Ms Funmi Folorunso.

The Economy gathered that the king is pained that despite the enormous ocean resources in Lagos, not many indigenes of the state are employed in major government parastatals and agencies in the maritime sector.

“The king has revealed plans to develop strategic capacity building for indigenes in maritime labour and professions, especially as President Bola Tinubu’s administration targets to create 50 million jobs for Nigerians. The Oba has also indicated that if executing the plan would mean floating a shipping line, he was ready and willing to lead the cause,” a source competent on the matter told The Economy.

Also speaking when he was a special guest of honour at a business symposium held on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) implementation by the maritime group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce recently, the Oba threw more light on the plan.

“We have re-track our skills. We have NIMASA, NPA and the Shippers Council, major maritime agencies here in Lagos; who are taking our jobs? I have got in touch with some shipowners to set up a training for 100 people and put them in maritime. Several countries in Africa are already carving a nitch for themselves in the non-oil export market. For instance, Botswana and Kenya meat industries are for Europe and Emirate respectively. We must also begin to do something in this direction, especially now that the president is desirous of creating 50 million jobs. We have to key into that plan. As traditional rulers, we are ready and willing to support this cause,” he said.

He lauded the creation of the Ministry of Marine Resources and Blue Economy, noting that outside oil and gas, the resources in the country’s maritime remains massive and leaders must be innovative to grow the maritime sector.

“We should be able to have a better economy in the next few years. The African blue economy strategy is one that targets sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth and we must identify with the objectives and goals of AfCFTA and we are ready to support them,” he shippers.

Oba Omogbolahan Lawal is a technocrat and was a three-time commissioner for the ministries of Agriculture, Cooperatives and Housing, until 2020 when he became the 15th Oniru of Iruland.

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