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NPA encourages students to choose career path in maritime

The port manager gave the advice at the 3rd edition of the Maritime Writes project, a training boot camp held in Lagos.
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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has encouraged primary and secondary school students to choose career opportunities in the maritime sector.

The port manager, Lagos Port complex, Apapa, Charles Okaga, gave the advice at the 3rd edition of the Maritime Writes project, a training boot camp held in Lagos.

Okagba also described the sector as a rewarding one for professionals.

“Nigeria is blessed with litoral endowment, which has resulted in its people having employment in various areas in the industry.

“Some of the areas for employment are shipping, pilotage, stevedoring, fishing and developing competencies in swimming sports.

“For small and medium enterprises such as smoked fish for exportation, rafia palm industry growing in some part of Nigeria and also the marine environment,” he said.

“So, what we are doing here is very important because it is a way to develop career paths for children that are here in their numbers,” he said.

Okagba noted that the boot camp was not just about developing the career path, it would assist the nation to have the right competencies for maritime-related operations in the oil and gas industry and the formal trade sectors.

“This is an opportunity for the children to know the opportunities that abound outside the conventional areas that we know,” he said.

The NPA boss said the activities of Maritime Writes were a major activity that should be given prominence in view of the advocacy that the project was doing to create an enlightenment path for the children.

He added that in the long run, the issue of unemployment, lack of competencies would be reduced with the sustained activities of the project, now and in years to come.

He said that NPA had made several contributions to capacity development in the maritime sector.

“We have a major training centre where we do simulations and this is available for bodies like Maritime Writes to come in and use the facility to educate and carry out advocacy awareness they are creating for the maritime sector.

“The facility also gives opportunity for students to have a real-time experience of the port industry because they are able to see some of these things mentioned, like the vessels, tugboats, pilotage operations in operation.

“And with that, it will deepen the ability of the children to be able to pick their career path,” he said.

Okagba advised the organisers to continue and sustain their advocacy, extend the sphere of information, grow the number of persons and take the programme to schools, especially primary and secondary schools.

He equally urged them to see how to partner with relevant educational institutions to ensure that maritime studies were incorporated into primary and secondary curricula.

Earlier, Ezinne Azunna, project coordinator/convener, Maritime Writes project, noted that for children in primary and secondary school have career path in maritime, there was need to infuse maritime education into the school curriculum.

The Maritime Writes project is a three-day boot camp for participants interested in writing.


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