Maritime experts on Tuesday addressed the crucial role of the private sector as the main engine growth of the nation’s economy.
They also reviewed the vast untapped opportunities in the maritime sector and the economic downturn of the country and ruled that if the sector is massively harnessed can earn huge revenue for the Federal Government.
At the 2nd Edition of Educators and Maritime Stakeholders Roundtable and Awards ceremony in Lagos, the experts urged local and foreign investors to take advantage of the opportunities that abound in the maritime sector.
They noted that the success of revamping the nation’s economy to which the present government is committed would depend to a great extent on how effective the operators in the maritime and other sectors pick up the challenges.
To effectively address the manpower needs of the maritime sector, the experts urged the government to support the next generation towards building career in maritime technology and management.
Particularly, they canvassed for the introduction of transportation at the basic level in Nigeria.
In her opening remarks, the Director, Ocean Ambassadors Foundation, Hon Olaitan Williams stressed on the principles for a sustainable blue economy.
She emphasized that it was important to save the tomorrow of the nation through the Catch Them Young Initiative.
‘’The knowledge-driven roundtable is for teachers to listen, know about the blue economy and communicate the blue economy to students. It is to understand and manage the many aspects of oceanic sustainability’’ she said.
The Director, Centre for Logistics and Transport Education (CELOTE), Mr. Francis Abumere Ehiguese, urged government to protect the country’s territorial waters.
Ehiguese identified management, technical aspect of the maritime industry, policy framework, modern infrastructure and qualified manpower to drive the frontiers of the maritime industry as core areas that should be urgently addressed.
‘’Maritime operations and management , institutional framework, policy and regulatory direction, modern infrastructure, qualified human capital and digitalization which is aptly supported by Internet, robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, unmanned vehicles, equipment and block chain, remain the greatest challenges to Nigeria’s maritime sector’’.
He advised Nigeria to focus on building strong economy by focusing on the ocean and formulating policies for the benefit of the country and the young people.
He asked education and maritime stakeholders to come up with policies and regulations that will bring about development of the country.
He also appealed to government to support the next generation to build a career in the maritime industry.
Founder of the African Marine Environment Sustainability Initiative (AFMESI), Dr. Felicia Mogo urged Nigerians to brace up for the new challenges in the maritime sector.
Mogo delivered a special maritime lecture entitled ‘’Knowledge and Blue Economy: The Future of Nigeria.
The AFMESI founder noted that stakeholders in the country’s maritime sector are today faced with innovation.
She underscored the wealth from the ocean, sustainability, opportunities in the marine industry and respect for the environment.
Mogo stressed that stringent regulations were major factors retarding the performance of the sector.
The answer to sustainable economic growth, according to her, is for the governments and stakeholders in maritime industry to do a lot more than stringent regulations.
Mogo pleaded that both federal and state governments should respond positively to the manpower needs of the maritime sector by including maritime issues in the nation’s educational curriculum.
Mogo, a former Director of Marine Environment Management at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) also made a case for government and private collaboration.
Maritime lawyer and Chairman of Nigerian Ship Owners Forum, Mrs. Margaret Orakwusi, spoke on Nigeria’s attempt at floating shipping line, documentation, opportunities in the maritime sector, relevant education and how to grow the next generation.
‘’Maritime has come to stay. In the ocean, we have a lot of resources. There is a great opportunity in shipping that government is not tapping from’’ she said.
‘’We generate the cargoes but not dictating the terms’’ she added.
Dignitaries at the meeting included Vice President, Mundus Maris ASBL, Prof. Stella Williams; President, NAPPS and Founder, Lagooz Private School, Otunba Yomi Otubela; Barrister Jean Chiazor Anishere (SAN); Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Education District III, Dr.(Mrs.) Olufolayinka Ayandele; Head of Shippers Services, Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Mrs. Naa Densua Aryeetey, Senior Lecturer, Federal College of Fisheries, Maritime Technology, Victoria Island, Lagos, Dr. Olukayode Olubiyi and Director, CRFFN and National President, CILT, Dr. Alban Igwe.
Chief Executive Officer, Florish-Gate Global Consult, Mrs. Dideolu Adekogbe, Area Manager, NIWA, Engr. Sarat Braimah; Business Development Account Officer, Niger Dock Ltd, Principal Partner, Margaret Onyema & Co, Uptown Solicitors Law Firm, Barr. Margaret Orakwusi; Capt. Noimot Ayeni, 2019 Female MAPRO award winner, Capt. Damilola Adebamipe, DG Chamber of Shipping, Obiageli Obi and President, WISTA Nigeria/Matron, Ocean Ambassador Club, Mrs. Mary Hamman attended the meeting.
Students who took first, second and third positions during the 1st Nationwide Maritime Quiz held on Monday 14th to Thursday 17th, 2020 were presented with awards. First Position: Oyetunde Samuel, Lagos State Model College, Badore; 2nd Position: Augustine Okoh Amarachi, Saint Jude Private School, Festac, Lagos and 3rd Position: Toluwanimi Sonuga, Corona Schools, Agbara, Ogun State.
Awwal Amuni, Baptist Boys’ High School, Obanikoro; Ernest Divinelove Sopuruchukwu, Federal Government College, Ibusa, Delta State; Iqram Omoti, Heritage School, Benin, Edo State; Aisosa Oviawe, Light and World Educational Centre, Edo State; Bello Nasir, Glisten International Academy, Jabi District, Abuja were recognized for their consistent grades.