By Stephen Ubanna
Dakuku Peterside, a former member of the House of Representatives and Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, appears to have discovered ways of solving the dearth manpower needs in the nation’s maritime sector in the future. Nigerian Youths over the years had dreaded taking up career opportunities in the nation’s maritime sector for fear of being stagnated in life.
Peterside, who was described as a bundle of ideas in the nation’s maritime sectors may have disabused their minds by initiating an essay competition as a way of encouraging Youth participation in the nation’s maritime sector.
The NIMASA Director General may have been encouraged to initiate the essay Competition among Tertiary institution students which carries mouth watery prizes for the first three runner-ups and other Consolation prizes because of his believe that ‘’Youths are the key to the future of the sector’’. He was said to have told those that cares to listen that he has to use the opportunity provided him as the Director General of the nation’s Maritime Regulatory agency to ‘’pursue careers and investment opportunities in the maritime industry after their graduation.
The MASA sponsored Essay Competition which was said to have started in 2017 was said to have exposed the Youths to the career opportunities in the Industry. This is evident going by the number of undergraduates from the different Universities across the country who have been participating in the essay Competitions.
He has a message for the Youths who may be worried of the possibility of getting job placement in the nation’s maritime sector after graduation that ‘’massive investment in the industry in the years ahead will help to create employment, diversify the economy to provide additional sources of revenue beyond Crude Oil and derivatives’’. This should gladden the heart of Nigerian undergraduates to should be more concerned about the activities in the nation’s maritime sector. The good news was that the Essay Competition was limited to only Year 1 and 2 Students in the tertiary Institutions to avoid giving room to those in year 3 and final year in the Universities to hijack it.
Isechei Osamgbi, the agency Deputy Director, in-charge Corporate Communications disclosed that the 2019 edition of the Essay Competition has been designed to stimulate the Students in the country’s tertiary institutions in their research and scholarship to build their knowledge and appreciation of the opportunities that exists in the sector that could not be compared with the nation’s Oil and Gas sector of the economy.
Given an insider information, Osamgbi, said the topic for this year’s essay competition, ‘’Empowering women in the maritime community ‘’ is in line with the World Maritime Day Celebration, noting that it is expected to produce a winner who will go home with a mouth watery sum of N500,000 educational grant and a branded NIMASA Laptop. The winning essay, , Osambi explained , would also be published in the agency Magazine, the Voyage, which would be read both within and outside the country.
The NIMASA Spokesperson also said that the 1S and 2nd runners up would be rewarded with N350,000.00 and N250,000.00 respectively . The financial rewards will be laced with a branded NIMASA laptop each.
For those who may think that they have no hope of winning the Essay Competition , they have no cause to worry as there are consolation prizes., to encourage more participations in subsequent editions of the Competition, The Value News learnt that consolation prizes of 100,000.00 educational grant have been budgeted to seven other runners up. This should encourage undergraduates sitting on the fence for fear of not going be selected among the winners to sit up and join the fray. ‘’It could be your turn to win’’, Osamgbi advised.
As at press time, it could not be ascertained whether NIMASA or the Consulting firm coordinating the essay competition have started getting response from the Undergraduates . ‘’We will have more than enough participants in this year’s Competition’’, a NIMASA official remarked.
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