The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has expressed hope for Nigeria and Africa to tap into the exploration of deep-sea minerals to boost it’s blue economy.
The General Secretary of ISA, Mr Michael Lodge, stated this at the end of the three days African Deep Sea Resources (ADSR) Conference in Abuja.
Lodge said the workshop was rich with amazing technical content about deep sea exploration, deep sea resource potentials in terms of mineral resources, marine environment protection, technology and capacity development.
“We had a series of roundtables involving all the participants, both from Nigeria, as well as eight African countries with a set of recommendations and proposals as to how Africa can engage more in deep sea scientific research.
“I am very positive for the future engagement of Africa in the deep sea resources that will boost it’s blue economy.
“This project is aimed at the whole of Africa, of course, Nigeria has expressed a very strong interest.
“So I think there’s going to be particular benefit for Nigeria, but the idea of the project as a whole is that we will go to different locations in Africa.
Also, Dr Maureen Tamuno, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to ISA and the High Commissioner of Nigeria to Jamaica, said Nigeria actually signed up to the International Seabed on the law of the sea 40 years ago
According to Tamumo, there is a lot for Nigeria to benefit.
“We brought this workshop to create awareness, engineer participation of Nigerians, especially collaboration between the private sector and government so that they will be able to get into the exploration stage.
” This is what other countries are doing that contracts are being given out, unfortunately, no African country has been able to get one.
“That is because of lack of awareness. What we are simply doing is to create the awareness and stimulate the appetite because, this an emerging economy; after the exploration phase, we will be going into exploitation.
“You know, the mineral resources that are underneath the water, are used for energy in those cars you see that are being driven without a fuel and all of that,” Tamuno said.
Similarly, the Director-General of National Boundary Commission (NBC), Mr Adamu Adaji, said the conference was able to properly sensitise and provide solutions on sea minerals exploration to African countries.
“We now know the potentials in the area, and what we, the Africans need to do to be able to tap from the resources within the sea area.
“So, the essence is the development of the seabed resources and promotion of the blue economy as a project.
“We are going to look at where we have shortfalls in terms of technical know how and partner with other African countries to see how we can benefit from this God given resources within the area,” Adaji said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference attracted officials of the Ministry of Transport, National Boundary Commission, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and many others.