By Kayode Adeogun

I never regret spending my whole day yesterday supporting Mrs. Olaitan Williams at the 2nd edition of Educators and Maritime Stakeholders Rountable and Awards ceremony at Radission Blu Hotel, Ikeja. In fact, I wouldn’t have forgiven myself if I had missed this program for other engagements.


Yesterday’s program with the theme, “Knowledge and Blue Economy – The Future of Nigeria”, exposed me to numerous opportunities that haven’t been tapped in maritime industry.

It will be an understatement to say that I was almost closed to tears when the Chairman and Guest Speaker of the occasion discussed the huge untapped prospects inherent in Nigeria’s maritime space which have over the years denied the nation a significant amount of revenue capable of sustaining the overall economy.

The central focus of the program was to expose youths and stakeholders in education and maritime industry to opportunities in the industry and how to explore and sustainably exploit available resources for economic development and social wellbeing of all and sundry. And, to advocate a multi-sectoral and integrated approach towards promoting economic growth, social inclusion, improvement of livelihood while at the same time ensuring environmental sustainability of the oceans and coastal areas.

During his opening speech, the Chairman of the Day, Director, Center for Logistics and Transport Education (CELOTE), Mr. Francis Abumere Ehiguese; took a cursory look at where Nigeria is as a nation as far as maritime is concerned.

According to Mr. Ehiguese, quoting Osagie Edward and Emeghebo Chigozipe, “research shows that Nigeria has a coastline of 853km, Inland Waterways of 8,575 km, a continental shelf of 200 meters to the depth of exploitation, and an exclusive economic zone of nautical miles…


The ocean in Nigeria offers great potential in terms of marine living resources and marine derived genetic resources.”

Mr. Ehiguese drew the attention of the audience to core factors that can help to achieve the national goals on Blue Economy at accelerated pace with profound implications for maritime operations, management and administration. Some of them include (but not limited to), institutional framework, policy and regulatory direction, modern infrastructure, qualified human capital and most importantly, digitalization which is aptly supported by Internet, robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, unmanned vehicles and equipment and block chain.

In conclusion, Mr. Ehiguese called on governments and relevant stakeholders in education and maritime sectors to come up with policies and regulations that will engender deliberate development of the needed human capital, infrastructure, facilities and processes that will enable a sustainable exploitation of ocean resources without compromising its effect on the environment. In his words, “I call on the government at both federal and state levels including their agencies and educational institutions to support the next generation to build a career in any area of their choice in the maritime industry.”

On her part, the guest speaker of the occasion, Director, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Founder/President, African Maritime and Environment Sustainability Initiative (AFMESI), Dr(Mrs) Felicia Mogo, echoed the need for innovation and reforms in maritime industry. She said for Nigeria to attain a sustainable economic growth, the governments and stakeholders in maritime industry need a lot more than stringent regulations. According to her, factors such as, political goodwill and massive investment in research and development will be needed. With the latter, she said, “private investment will play a very crucial role” for economic growth and to compete with other developed nations as far as maritime industry is concerned.

“The Blue Economy is relevant to all and can be applied at various scales, from local to global. In order to achieve the core purposes, the blue economy concept must be supported by a trusted and diversified knowledge based, complemented with management and development resources that help inspire and support innovation. More so, capitalizing on the untapped opportunities in maritime sector require a great deal of government and private collaboration and investment”, Dr. Mogo concluded.

While the program was going on, I realized from the speakers that Nigeria is ideally placed and suited to become the ship building, repairs and maintenance hub for Africa if governments and stakeholders can annexed the opportunities in maritime industry.

You will agree with me that if Nigeria governments and stakeholders in maritime industry do the needful, Nigeria local markets alone can justify the investments and new facilities needed in the sector.

Inarguably, maritime is an industry that has a significant multiplier effect on long-term job creation if well utilized.

Just imagine the enormous positive socio-economic impact of developing vibrant wide spread ship building capacity in Nigeria along with manpower training and leading to the gainful employment in the hundreds of thousands of Nigerians if the needful is done by relevant stakeholders in maritime industry.

Some of the dignitaries who graced the occasion include, CEO, Florish-Gate Global Consult, Mrs. Dideolu Adekogbe, Principal Partner, Margaret Onyema & Co; Uptown Solicitors Law Firm, Barr. Margaret Orakwusi; Area Manager, NIWA, Engr. Sarat Braimah; Business Development Account Officer, Niger Dock Ltd, Capt. Noimot Ayeni, 2019 Female MAPRO award winner, Capt. Damilola Adebamipe, Vice President Mundus Maris ASBL, Prof. Stella Williams; President, NAPA and Founder of Lagooz Private School, Otunba Yomi Otubela; Barr. Jean Chiazor Anishere (SAN); Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Education District III, Dr.(Mrs) Olufolayinka Ayanwale; 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; DG Chamber of Shipping, Obiageli Obi; President, WISTA Nigeria/Matron, Ocean Ambassador Club, Mrs. Mary Hamman, among others.

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. 1st 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.

The following students with consistent grades were also recognized: 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.

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