…recommends maritime career opportunities to students
The Port Manager, Lagos Ports Complex, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Charles Okaga has lamented the deficit of Nautical Scientists and Marine Engineers globally, even as he encouraged primary and secondary school students to choose maritime related career opportunities.
NPA’s Port Manager at Apapa Port, Mr. Okaga made this call while speaking at the ongoing 3rd Maritime Writes Project in Lagos, where he described maritime sector as a rewarding one for young professionals.
Okaga encouraged the young participants to be challenged by the dearth of Nautical Scientists and Marine Engineers to fill the global need which he described as the top-level aspects of maritime career with few aspirants.
His words: “My advice for the organisers is to sustain this advocacy, continue with what they are doing, extend the sphere of information and increase the number of participants. We should take the advocacy to schools especially the primary and secondary schools and see how to partner with relevant educational institutions to ensure that maritime studies are incorporated into our primary and secondary curriculum”
Stressing that Nigeria is a litoral state, Okaga added that it is very natural for people to develop their competences in their natural environment even as he expressed delight that some historical Nigerian maritime heritages like Badagry and Apapa which evoked sad memories of slave trade, have become crucial ports for global trade.
“The advantage that the litoral endowment of Nigeria has given us has resulted in Nigerians having employment in the areas of shipping, pilotage, stevedoring, fishing and developing competences in swimming sports. There has also been opportunities for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) such as; smoked fish for exportation, rafia palm industry growing in some part of Nigeria and also the marine environment.”
“What we are doing here is very important because it is a way to develop career path for children that are here in their numbers. It’s not just about developing the careerpath, it would assist the nation to have the right competences for maritime related operations in the oil and gas industry, the formal trade sectors. It is an opportunity for the children to know the opportunities that abound outside the conventional areas that they already know,” he explained.
The Apapa Port Manager also simplified the shipping and port business for the participants, explaining how ships berth at ports, the role of tugboats operators, stevedores, ship-chandlers, freight forwarders, several classification of seafarers and other related services and professions.
Also speaking at the ongoing Creative Writing Bootcamp, the Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Education District 3, Ikoyi, Dr. Oyetola Olufunke Idowu described the ongoing bootcamp as an initiative that would bring out the best in participating students.
Dr. Idowu, who was represented by Ilesanmi Temitayo, observed that the sessions have been appropriately delivered by resource persons in a manner that inspires and polishes the writing skills of participants.
“Everything that has been taught so far have been spot-on. The basics of writing and creativity were taught and the maritime operators explained the industry’s activities in simple terms and relatable examples to guide the minds of the participants creatively,” he said.