The Ocean Ambassadors Foundation (OAF) has held its 3rd “Educators & Maritime Stakeholders Roundtable & Awards”, a programme organised to further deepen the integration of maritime education in secondary schools across the federation.
The event which also doubled as the closing ceremony for the National Quiz Competition for Nigerian Secondary Schools Students, also put together by OAF.
Aimed at creating awareness on the maritime sector amongst Nigerian students, the founder of the Foundation, Hon. Violet Olaitan Williams in her welcome speech said the initiative is a “catch them young for secondary schools”.
According to her, it is an avenue at helping school children tap into the rich ocean resources and prepare them for roles such as Seafarers, Marine Engineers, and Port Administrators in the near future.
During the round table discussion titled “Knowledge, Technology and Blue Economy: The Future of Nigeria”, the panelists bemoaned the dearth of deep blue education in secondary schools curriculum questioning why the Ministry of Education would not create a curriculum for Deep Blue Education and maritime studies in Nigerian Schools.
Many lamented that South Africa, Kenya are already ahead of Nigeria in the development of Deep Blue Economy adding that recently, South Africa established a legislation known as the Marine Special Planning Act. This frame work has saved 5% of Marine Resources in the Nation. The country has also created over 200,000 jobs from the Blue Economy Initiative.
The panelists therefore called on the Federal Government to enact the Blue Economy Act to increase the country’s GDP.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the occasion, Mr. Ibekwe disclosed that the maritime law is in the exclusive list of the 1999 constitution. According to him, this makes State and Local governments powerless in developing maritime project. He therefore advised that the Maritime law should be expunged from the exclusive list of the 1999 constitution.
Recipients of the 2021 OAF Awards include, Mrs Olufunmilayo Olotu, Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex, Ezinne Azunna, CEO Media Traction & Owners of Maritime TV, Engr Sarat Braimah, NIWA Lagos Area Manager, Engr Oluwadamilola Adebamipe, Capt Noimot Akasan and Mrs Lai Koiki, CEO Greensprings Educational Services.
The Foundation also unveiled “A Compendium of Maritime Career Presentations for Secondary School Teens” , a book highly commended by participants as a guide for teens seeking a career path in the maritime sector.