Harnessing the potentials of blue economy for sustainable development of Nigeria
This dissertation is a study of the potentials of Blue Economy and how they could be harnessed for sustainable development of Nigeria. The research foregrounds a systematic analysis of Blue Economy and assessment of the major institutional and legal framework for the management of ocean resources in Nigeria. As background to the study, the research examined the debates on the definition of Blue Economy, the key drivers and future trends. Furthermore, it analysed the relevant international legal and institutional frameworks for ocean governance regimes, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The study then briefly analysed the major challenges of Blue Economy and examined the relationships between Blue Economy, Sustainable Development Goals and sustainability, in general. The research methodology involved a review of the current institutional framework of the major sectors of Blue Economy and their governance regimes in Nigeria to assess the implementation mechanisms and identify the critical challenges. Further, the study conducted semi-structured interviews to further understand the issues, potentials, challenges and policy implications for harnessing the potentials of Blue Economy and actualizing the country’s development agenda. The discussion was guided by the Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) as a theoretical framework of analysis of the interviews results. The discussion further verged on various themes and issues related to diversification of the economy, Integration of the institutional frameworks, compliance and enforcement capacities, data management, investment and funding mechanisms for Blue Economy among others. Finally, the research findings observed some cross-cutting issues which must be critically addressed for the proper implementation of Blue Economy in the country and actualization of the sustainable development agenda. To these ends, the research examined recommendations relating to- integration and clustering of activities, ensuring strong institutions and political will, entrenching Ecosystem-Based management, building strategic partnerships, and investing in technologies and capacity development.