One of Nigeria’s maritime amazons, the National President, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Barr. (Mrs.) Mfon Usoro has encouraged young Nigerian ladies to explore career paths and opportunities in the marine and blue economy as the nation seeks to gainfully harnessthe $1.5 trillion sector.
Usoro, the first female Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), gave the advice at the 4th nationwide virtual Marine and Blue Economy Quiz competition on Wednesday, while declaring the quiz open.
The competition, organised by the Ocean Ambassadors Foundation (OAF), is in celebration of the International Day of the girl-child.
Usoro, also the former Secretary General of Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (Abuja MOU) on Port State Control, pointed out that there are three million jobs for people worldwide in the sector, especially in different areas which young females could tap into.
Her words: “There are opportunities for fishing, coastal tourism with our beaches that should be attractive and clean, renewable energy like having a turbine in the sea, using the constant wave flow.”
“There is a source of income that can be exploited in water desalination; here, an entrepreneur can use this to address water security in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.”
“Going beyond this, there is another field of study like marine genetic resources in sea and can be used in the medical field, and many more opportunities offered in marine resources.”
Usoro, however, noted that there should also be emphasis on the conservation of marine resources so that the $1.5 trillion benefits could be explored in a sustainable manner.
She said that to achieve that a lot had to start from the homes, adding that this was what the Ocean Ambassadors Foundation (OAF) had been doing for the past four years as regard cleaner ocean.
“We need to reduce our plastic intake or more still, recycle and dispose of them appropriately when need be,” she said.
Usoro appreciated the government for creating the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, noting that more opportunities should be open to expose people on the benefits of the marine sector.
“The ministry should organise itself to accomplish its objectives. There should be an institutional method to ensure coordination with other ministries linked to the blue economy ministry to avoid duplication of methods.”
“I encourage the young ladies whose interest has been triggered by the quiz and wish them the best of luck,” she added.
Earlier, the President of OAF, Hon. (Mrs.) Violet Williams, stated that the objective of the quiz competition was to ensure a nationwide drive for young people’s inclusive participation in the maritime sector.
Williams expressed optimism that the competition would enlighten students on the career opportunities in the maritime sector and adapt to the digital learning ecosystem through the use of e-learning platforms.
According to Williams, the e-quiz is centered on key areas of the maritime. “This includes maritime career opportunities, shipping, freight forwarding, history of the Nigeria port authority, maritime regulatory agencies, current affairs about the Nigeria maritime sector and others,” she said.
Meanwhile, she observed that many persons had benefited from the platform, urging the students to tap into it for a better future and be among those included in the three-million job offer from the sector.