AMAE 2023: Art can reduce sea blindness in Nigeria – Oyetola

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By Chiazo Ogbolu

The Minister for Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, says maritime art is a viable alternative that will help build the consciousness of the industry among Nigerians.

Oyetola said this at the opening ceremony of the second edition of the African Maritime Art Exhibition (AMAE) with the theme: “The Convergence: Maritime meets ICT”, on Friday, in Lagos.

Oyetola, represented by a Technical Aide, Prof. Busayo Fakinlede, noted that as art connects with human emotions, it could be a very effective tool in driving the agenda and ideals of the maritime industry.

“The Maritime Art Exhibition is another way to reach out to Nigerians about blue economy. It can be an effective way to build the consciousness of the maritime in the minds of Nigerians.

“With the creation of the new Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, there is a greater need for this awareness to enable the citizens to grasp the importance of the sector.

“For people to have that clarity and understanding about maritime and how to channel the necessary sectors, we have to explore all approaches. It can be via social media, traditional media or art. We have to explore all approaches,” he said.

He, however, assured that the ministry was willing to collaborate with industry stakeholders to infuse the required technologies and infrastructure to optimise the huge socio-economic gains accruable from the sector.

The Chairperson of the event, Principal Partner, Jean-Chiazor and Partners, Mrs Jean-Chiazor Anishere (SAN), noted that ICT and Artificial Intelligence had already changed the operations of all facets of life.

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Anishere opined that a more proactive approach to ICT and innovations would be more beneficial to the nation as it would maximise the gains inherent in blue economy.

Speaking on adopting technology at the port, Mr Cajetan Agu, Director, Consumer Affairs, Nigerian Shippers’ Council noted the port community system was key.

According to Agu, for the community system to work in Nigeria, there is the need to automate the logistics system.

Agu expressed disappointment that the country was still making use of manual traffic operations in spite of the establishment of the Eto, the electronic call up system for trucks.

Earlier, Mrs Ezinne Azunna, Founder, African Maritime Art Exhibition, noted that the aim of the conference was to help stakeholders find ICT solutions that would drive safer, swifter, more secure and cost effective operations and innovations.

“AMAE uses photograph, textile art, paint, sculpture and other motifs/subjects to tell stories and support caused around the blue economy.

“It remains the singular exhibition in Africa built around the portraiture of the blue economy and its causes, using aesthetic and semiotic elements,” she said.

The highpoint of the event was the art exhibition opened by the Blue Economy Minister’s representative accompanied by maritime bigwigs,  including the President of Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association, Mrs Eunice Ezeoke and the Vice-President, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Ify Akerele.

Others present were the first Nigerian female Bonded Terminal Operator, Chief Executive, AML Bonded Terminal, Mrs Affi Ibanga; Vice President, Women in Maritime, Nigerian Chapter, Mrs Gloria Kanabe and Commercial Manager, AP Moller Terminals, Temilade Ogunniyi.

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Others included the Director-General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Mrs Vivian Chimezie-Azubuike; President, Female Seafarers Association of Nigeria, Koni Duniya; Engineering Manager, Radical Circle Technical Services and Mr Ajibade Hamzat; among others. (NAN)(

Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

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