10th December, 2010
Chief Executive Officer of Ships and Ports Communication Company, Mr Bolaji Akinola,Â says that after 50 years of independence, Nigerians have not derived the best ofÂ values from the maritime sector.
Mr. Akinola said this during the 4th Annual National Essay Competition organised byÂ the company.
Speaking on the topic of the essay, How Has The Maritime Industry Performed In TheÂ Last Fifty Years, he noted that there is little local value added in the oilÂ industry as Nigeria merely exports her crude and natural gas.
â€œThe nation imports refined petroleum products for virtually all its domesticÂ requirements. As if that is not enough, Nigerians do not participate in shipping theÂ nationâ€™s imports or exports. It is a double jeopardy.
â€œPolicies to increase local content are bedevilledÂ by controversy and insincerityÂ on the part of the agencies saddled with the responsibilities of implementation andÂ the appalling unwillingness of the of the oil majors to patronise services renderedÂ by Nigerian shipping firmsâ€ Akinola said.
He added that Nigerians have not exploit the enduring gains inherent in the shippingÂ sector, while policies have failed to promote development along the growth.
In his address, the chairman of the event, Executive Secretary of the NigerianÂ Shippersâ€™ Council (NSC), Captain Adamu Biu, also lamented that theÂ maritime industryÂ has not been exploited by the nation, saying , individuals with the requisiteÂ knowledge are not encouraged to take appointments in Nigerian maritime trainingÂ institutions, especially the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN).
At the prize presentation ceremony, some of the winners include Princess VickyÂ Haastrup, who won the Prize for Originality with a laptop donated by Micura ServicesÂ Limited; Mr. Adeleye Ajayi and Miss Munachinno U Anyanwu, who were awarded SifaxÂ Prize for Creativity and wereÂ given a laptop each; Miss Blessing Josephine OssaiÂ and Mr. Chisomaga Opara- Eronini, who the Late Dr. Bassey Ekong Prize forÂ Outstanding Essay and Late Engineer Festus Ugwu Prize for Outstanding EssayÂ respectively.