Maritime veterans ranging from ship-owners to captains and engineers, security experts, distinguished administrators, academicians, among others, have unveiled some key principles for success for younger practitioners.
This outpour of professional nous and career guidance was realized at the 6th Annual Maritime Students and Youth (AMSAY) Conference, also known as ‘A Day with Nigerian Maritime Students” organized by Platforms Communications in Lagos, yesterday
At the conference themed: “Job Creation for Nigerian Youths Through Maritime Sector”, the Secretary General, Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control for the West and Central African Region, Capt. Sunday Umoren encouraged young Nigerians to identify a niche among the vast opportunities in maritime and determine to be excellent.
While listing some of these opportunities in maritime to include; ship building, fishing, ship brokerage, maritime law, among others, he encouraged the government to create an ideal environment that would enhance job creation in the sector.
His words: “If every person fulfills his role in the cluster, there will be job opportunities and we will have enough human capital in the sector. The responsibility of the government is to ensure friendly business environment by instituting fiscal policy that will enable investors to come.”
“Also for security, when it comes to shipping, nobody will like to have his vessels in waters that are pirates-infested, and the students need training skills that will help them to be marketable.”
Umoren stressed the need for skill acquisition among the youths through gap analysis to determine the most critical areas and called for the accreditation of maritime institutions to help the youths, especially those in seafaring.
Also speaking at the summit, the Founder of African Marine Environment Sustainability Initiative (AFMESI), Dr. Felicia Mogo encouraged the students and young professionals to focus on developing qualities that will make them successful in their respective fields.
Dr. Mogo, who also played the role of Mother-of-the-Day at the event, stressed that young ones have an opportunity to choose good mentors and good traits.
“If you’re in school studying, you should make the decision to be a success and refuse to become someone to be used as an example of a bad egg. As parents, even if a child is bad, we believe it’s our responsibility to remodel that child and make him or her good. So, my appeal to you is that you keep focusing on your goals and pay attention to details.”
“There are so many ways of learning things nowadays, but choose to learn what is important. You can learn a lot using your phones and the internet, but you know that you want to be a great person in future so you have to choose to go for the important things,” she said.
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion and Executive Director, Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Prof. Abiodun Sule observed that the role government could play in job creation was in regulation.
Sule, who was represented by Dr. Ibifubara Cookey, from the Institute, noted that regulations that guarantee a level playing field for stakeholders in the private sector would help to boost job creation in maritime.
Meanwhile, a Senior Lecturer at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Prof. Callistus Ibe urged the students to be relevant by developing their creative abilities as well as speaking skills.
“Unemployment in the maritime sector is artificial because if we have our manpower trained and certified, there are bound to be opportunities. We have not tapped the maritime sector, just imagine the removal of debris, waste, chandling, bunkering in the sector, there is abundant job there but how many people are there,” he said.
The convener of the event and Chief Executive Officer, Platform Communications, Mr. Sylvanus Obasi stressed that to secure the future maritime investments and businesses, there is a need for capacity development of the young ones.
He, however, lamented that several maritime students as well as young professionals have jettisoned the industry for petty trading after waiting and searching fruitlessly for onboard placement.
Noting the new challenges which technological advancements in maritime such as unmanned ships, robotics and the likes pose to the future of cadets and seafarers globally, Obasi stressed that the time to think about succession plan for maritime practitioners in Nigeria is now.