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Let Marine and Blue Economy Ministry operations be guided by well-informed policy framework  – Prof. Anetekhai advises FG

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By Abiodun OBA

The Federal Government has been urged to allow the newly created Marine and Blue Economy ministry’s operations be guided by well-informed and all-inclusive policy framework and implementation strategies to aid the creation of about 20 million new jobs in the country.

Professor Martins Anetekhai advised while delivering a valedictory lecture titled “Aquapreneurship: The pathway to sustainable marine and blue economy” at the Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo on Friday.

Anetekhai delivered the lecture to climax activities lined up to mark his retirement from the university after clocking 70 years.

“Given Nigerian Blue Economy potential of $1.5 trillion annually, a significant number of jobs are expected to be created annually through this ministry with the implementation of supportive policies in line with sustainable development goals.

“In the model comprising six blue chains, a minimum of 200 business types can be established.

“Given this scenario, the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy is expected to mop up 20 million unemployed people off the streets by 2027,” he said.

On the need to embrace Blue Economy and taking advantages therein, Anetekhai said, “The overall vision for the country is to reduce pressure on land and pay more attention to addressing societal challenges through innovative water-based solutions provided by Aquapreneurship “

The Professor of Fisheries said though Nigeria has over 860 kilometres of coastline, aquapreneurship can be done even in the upland areas.

He advised that the success of the new ministry be anchored in efficient aquapreneurs with an approach that is strictly business and private-sector-driven to create prosperity in our socioeconomic status.

He thanked the management of LASU, led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, for making the institution a leader in many research areas including the Centre of Excellence for Sargassum Research, CESAR.

Extolling Anetekhai, Prof. Olatunji-Bello described him as a mentor to many people who have become academic giants.

The immediate past Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said Anetekhai is a man of trust and somebody with a large heart.

Colleagues in the Faculty of Science and CESAR poured encomium on the retired professor, wishing him well in his future endeavours.

Anetekhai spent over 39 years in LASU where he helped in moulding many academics, nine of whom have become professors too.

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