Osinbajo seeks protection of Africa from sea-based minerals exploitation

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has advocated for the protection of Africa from economic exploitation of sea-based minerals and adverse agreements in that global sector.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (Premium Times)

The delegation was led by its Secretary General, Mr Michael Lodge.

The ISA is an autonomous international organisation established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The ISA leadership is in Nigeria for an international workshop on international deep seabed resources.

Osinbajo said that as the regulations were being negotiated, ways by which African countries could be protected from economic exploitation and from adverse agreements and terms must be the focus.

“Especially because very frequently the technical skills that are required and the technology are almost invariably imported.

“This is something that I hope you will pay some attention to as you develop regulations around the industry.

On the ongoing ISA meeting in Abuja, Osinbajo said that the conference would help Nigeria a great deal to focus its minds on paying more attention to what it was trying to do on the deep blue project.

He said that the country had spent a fair amount of time trying to conceptualise its interventions in the Blue Economy.

The Federal Government is persuaded about the need for us to pay far more attention to the Blue Economy, not just from the point of view of protection of the Gulf of Guinea and all of the other issues, but more from the point of view of economic exploitation of mineral resources, very critical mineral resources that are in our sea bed.

“I am happy that we (Nigeria) are important contributors to ISA and that it is very well represented and that Africa is the focus given the fact that it has not had that much of contribution in seabed exploration.”

“We need to pay more attention to technology, how to do this more ourselves, because, clearly, one of the problems we found partly with some of the IOCs is that they are not able to negotiate the very best terms especially given the nature of offshore exploration,” he said.

Earlier in his remarks, Lodge expressed gratitude to the Nigerian government for hosting its workshop in Abuja and commended the country’s long-standing support to the organisation spanning over two decades.

Lodge urged Nigeria and all Africans to explore the unlimited resources in the seabed.

“The development of this new industry (blue economy) will be key and crucial to energy transition.”

He also emphasised on the need for Africa to be represented in the development of deep-sea minerals which was crucial for the future of the continent’s blue economy.

Nigeria’s Ambassador to Jamaica and Permanent Representative to the ISA, Amb. Maureen Tamuno, also spoke.

She said Nigeria’s active participation in the activities of the ISA was indicative of the country’s readiness to leverage the vast opportunities in the blue economy.

The ISA delegation was accompanied on the visit to the presidential villa by the Director General of the National Boundary Commission, Mr Adamu Adaji, among other officials.

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