Keynote Speech Delivered By Capt Sunday Umoren At 6th AMSAY Conference

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Capt Sunday Umoren is the Secretary-General, Abuja Memorandum of Understanding on Ports State Control. He delivered the keynote Speech at the 6th Annual Maritime Students and Youth Conference held recently at Apapa, Lagos Nigeria.

Platform Reporters got you covered with the full text of his Keynote Address on the central theme of the conference entitled, “Job Creation for Nigerian Youths through Maritime Sector”. Enjoy the excerpts:

INTRODUCTION: You came here with different and great expectations more like a rollercoaster with highs and lows. These will most probably include seeking confirmation that you are on the right path, that they are jobs out there for your career development?  With these, there may also be the doubt and  question especially amongst the teeming youth   or worries about stability as in ‘ HOW  STABLE IS THE MARITIME WORLD).

Yes as in every aspect of life the question of Job opportunities and career cannot be taken lightly and  should be given a thorough and holistic review and deep prayers for divine guardian. This is much more important especially in over populated countries or countries with high unemployment rates and/or countries with restive youths

The maritime industry holds a myriad of employment opportunities within itself. This is one exciting field which offers marine employment along with great opportunities, adventure, fun and financial reward. One can take advantage of all these opportunities and become a maritime expert.

The maritime industry is currently the most global, innovative and forward-looking industries. Its employment rate, value creation and spillover to other industries make it an important driving force in business and industry.

The maritime sector is composed of organizations and activities such   as maritime transportation, the naval industry (naval engineering and shipbuilding companies, and the component supply sector), commercial fishing and aquaculture industry, the cruise and recreational sector, sport and commercial ports and marinas, marine energy sources, navies, marine and ocean research and sciences, maritime training academies and training centers, a wide range of professional services around the maritime activities, and professional associations, trade unions and organizations supporting the rights and interests of seafarers and maritime professionals.

The maritime industry is of huge importance in terms of natural resources and energy, trade and industry, sciences and leisure activities

Kinds of water Transportation – Inland waters / Domestic / Coastal Shipping and ocean Shipping / Foreign going. They generally cover, the offshore oil exploration and production industry, and the cruise sector, cargo sectors and support services

Why the choice of career in the Maritime

The decision tree in deciding which career to take:

  • The heart desire
  • Influenced by mentor / Guardian or someone that inspired you
  • By encounter Accidental / incidental
  • The opportunist
  • The desperate one – please where can I find a job

This may be the toughest decision to make or the hardest part to convince your parents and some could be mad to scream out ‘Why on earth would you consider this aspect of life?’ The answer is not far-fetched as it could fall under the following advantages:

Maritime careers /  positions offer numerous advantages, including:

  • Higher Starting Wages $!$$$$$£££££
  • Better Benefits £!$!
  • Rewards for competency and proficiency
  • International Connections
  • Opportunities for Quick Advancement
  • Working with a Close Group of People
  • Travel Opportunities
  • Adventure
  • Career Flexibility
  • Ongoing Training and Skills Development
  • Job Security
  • Easily Transferrable Job Skills
  • Sometimes courses of advancements are sponsored

Firstly let us look at the basic panacea of employment. There are a lot of questions that can be used to explain this to provide an approach to deal the creation of employment. Further analysis will be in dealing with questions like – Are skills really a panacea for unemployment? A blogger liken this to the popular chicken-and-egg question of which the world best scientists debated for ages to determine which came first (well on the chicken-egg, thing the puzzle was eventually resolved) and so in our case the question is, ‘is it skills or jobs, which comes first?. You can bet that this has generated a rich exchange and contributions over time. This is apt but a useful guide as it is used in some countries in tackling the problem of unemployment.

The maritime world is principally not too complicated and thus our answer   to which comes first (skills or Job) is that this could swing either way and one path may actually turn out to be slower and longer while the other could mean an expedited rise in vertical progression.

ARE WE READY FOR THE WAVE  (SKILL AQUISITION)

Woe unto me, for wherein lieth my hope ‘ I search for a job and I am told I needed experience but then no body is willing to give me a job to gain the experience’

  1. Determination of skill gaps – educational attainment and technical skill.  There is hype between blue collar and white collar workers and you can hear things like ( it is skills not just diplomas that matter). Whatever the case, this needs to be fixed otherwise they can affect the flow of future workers). China invested so much is swamping European and American schools with students to study different aspects. Some were brought into China to start shipyards for building ships and today China is a major player in shipbuilding.   Closing of skills gaps require strong input from Employers’ but what happens when there are no employers in your country but you are banking on exporting the workforce? Inadequacies of skills can be out of perception or actual and both should be addressed.    
  2. Skills development: TRAINING, MORE TRAINING AND RETRAINING. This is INTERVENTION after the gap analysis. This to ensure that people enter the labor market well-equipped. The demand and supply principle should be applied here. This requires serious mapping as it is path-dependent and requires serious investments but with great returns on the investment. Skill development has to be intentional and be an integral part of the strategy to actualisation of the plan to capture a ninche in the maritime cluster. Skills beget skills: as one should always remember that the ROI It takes about two decades for these skill investments to translate into a more productive labor force.   
  3. SKILL FORMATION (post training – proficiency and competency) Yes, the training has been concluded but what is the outcome with respect to on the job performance. We need to deal with factors that inhibit skill acquisition. A lot of factors are contributory as Skills formation is subject to important intergenerational and accumulation of externalities.   Besides schools and firms, families and economic environments have a key role in the confluence of opportunity (attractive returns) and possibility (liquidity, quality schools and home environments) for skills investments.  
  4. Mismatches in the supply and demand of skills and the impact of globalisation.   
  5. Policy priorities for jobs strategies.  How are these dealt with ,  factors as   infrastructure, taxes, regulations, or corruption, the policy efforts behind each are strikingly different.  

The best blend is in the involvement of the country to develop a strategy (often called Maritime Strategy) and thus have a clearly defined path to the zenith

The peculiarity of the Maritime Sectors:  Just like most profession there are two stages in building a career – the learning stage and Money-making making stage.  How you do and what you imbibed at the different stages determines how successful one will be in the quest for reaching the career zenith

Capt Sunday Umoren (1st Right) with other dignitaries at the conference

The Learning Stage:

This is the ages past was called the apprenticeship. It could easily cover the classroom learning, the SIWES/ IT phase. Here there is the test of character (endurance, reliability, commitment, focus and etc).  Pointedly, this stage is the molding stage as the future output could be dependent on how one was molded here. The question is – did you pass through a school and/or did the school pass through you

The money making Stages

                Reaping the fruit of your labour / Entering into your rest

Responsible parties:

  • Citizenry
    • DECISON TO BE PART OF THE MARITIME, TO ACQUIRE THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS  and then  COME OUT proficient and competent
    • Knowledge – getting full information about chosen path
    • Selecting a mentor – understudying him/her, being a modified clone, asking the right questions
    • No entitlement mentality (every generation blames the one before it)
    • Deciding on the Skill acquisition method
  • The Government
    • The development and implementing the right Policies
    • Maritime Policy and  strategy (cabotage , shipping acquisition, Import duties)
    • Defining the niche in the Maritime cluster
    • Boosting regional and International trade
    • Setting of standards and structures – Quality assurance
    • business environment is conducive to job creation.
    •  
  • The Forefathers / The practitioners (Stakeholders)
    • Succession planning (setting a foundation) /leaving a legacy /  what will posterity adjudge and/or  say of me, ensuring no vacuum is created (there should never be a lost civilization)
    • A man is not defined by how much wealth he acquired or his level of education but more on how many lives he had touch
    • Mentor spirit (suffer the little children to come to me)

FOMI is in the spirit in joining this discussion , below are some current write up on this!!

In an article published in https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/how-to-generate-more-employment-in-maritime-sector/, and also as reported in the Guardian the editor quoted the President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwero, in a letter to the presidency tasking the FG on generation of employment in the Maritime sector noting that the existence of three major legal on three legal instruments.

  • Coastal and inland shipping (Cabotage) Act 5 of 2003;
  • Nigeria Maritime Administrative and Safety Agency Act No. 17 of 2007, and
  • Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act No. 2 of 2010.

Mr. Amiwero however, recommended that national carriers status to  develop and implement policies and programmes, which will facilitate the growth of the local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ship and other maritime infrastructure as contained in  NIMASA ACT. These are greta points to note .

A section of maritime students at the conference
  • Similar report in the USA ‘Domestic Maritime Industry Creates 13,850 Jobs, $3.2 Billion in Economic Growth for Ohio’ .According to the findings of a new study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of Transportation Institute (TI), the Jones Act continues to fuel a strong maritime industry in Ohio and across the Great Lakes region, where the PwC report shows 123,670 Jones Act-related jobs – or 20% of the national total – are based. Throughout Ohio, the industry employs more than 13,850 individuals, produces $3.2 billion for the local economy, and generates $817.5 million in worker income. Between 2011 and 2016, maritime employment in Ohio increased by 3,520 jobs. $30 billion of the national Jones Act economic impact comes from the eight Great Lakes states.

Some related reports

  • “The state of Ohio is a leader in the domestic maritime industry, supporting 13,850 family-wage jobs and contributing over $3.2 billion to the local economy,” said James L. Henry, Chairman, and President of Transportation Institute. 
  • The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Wednesday inaugurated its Dockyard Training School in Apapa, Lagos as part of efforts to institute continuous learning culture for its employees.. NPA inaugurates Dockyard Training School in Lagos – Maritime First Newspaper   Md. KoKo Mohammed said – “Consistently upskilling and reskilling our employees on whom we place a very high premium is our overriding objective as a management team.
  • GOMIT: Greg Ogbeifun visits NIMASA, emphasizing trainings that create Professionals
  • … As Jamoh highlights the need for enhanced Curriculum, Capacity domestication, to conserve foreign exchange*
  • A study by the South African Maritime Safety Authority: The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has launched a study aimed at contributing to the process of skills development and empowerment in the maritime sector.

There is no doubt that the maritime sector is of crucial importance to modern societies and sustainability of any coastal / littoral states. The Maritime world remains a potential wealth-bomb if exploited well it explodes with unlimited influence and with expanded roles as an essential element in terms of social and economic development and thus it remains a great source employment and career opportunities. The opportunities offered by the maritime world have serious knock-on effects on other related sectors with the latest estimate by Oxford Economic being 1:1.6 between direct and indirect related enterprises.

 It is estimated that 90% of world trade is by the seas and thus shipping remains the undisputed major form of transportation. The imperatives of shipping transcend to communication linking coastal cities, countries and continents.  In this era of green technology and environmentally friendly modes of transportation, water transportation is economically and environmentally the most efficient way to travel or transport merchandise and the key players have been seen to be environmentally responsible looking at MARPOL and the progression from coal through unrefined fossil fuel to 3.5% Suplur content and now 0.5% sulphur which the current trend is still pointing to 0% emission in the foreseeable future. 

In the quest for Job creation, Nations should note the fact that there are traditional maritime jobs and the current some Futuristic opportunities.

From the Maritime Cluster, the  some of the traditional ones include:

  • Managing the port business.
  • Coordinating with logistics companies for the transportation of goods.
  • Procuring shipping materials to build new ships and repairing old ones.
  • Maritime and shipping management.
  • Fleet Managers – Technical and commercial Mgt
  • Crew Managers
  • Trade regulations and international coordination.
  • Shipping Broker – The ship broker profession deals with the trading of ships and cargo shipping. More than theoretical knowledge, this area requires more to be in the market. It is a competitive and lucrative field. As a Ship Broker, the person will act as a link between ship owners and charterers.
  •  Shipping Agent:
  • Owners Agents
  • Cargo Agents
  • Hub Agency (part of the Global network)
  • Logistics / Merchant Officer: This position includes; Strategic management of different trade decisions, cargo handling and communication with different trade organizations. It requires; communication skills, knowledge of international trade regulations and maritime agreements between various countries
  • CREW:
    • Marine Engineer – Responsible for the maintenance and repair of ship machinery. This is an exciting career for those interested in the technical side of ships.
    • Deck Officer: The are responsible for the safe Navigation, deck maintenance,   cargo handling and communication.
    • Catering and general house-keeping  
  • Shipbuilding Engineer – He deals with the engineering aspect of the design and construction of ships and marine vessels. Like other engineering professions, it needs a four-year master’s degree
    • Naval Architects – The naval architecture profession includes the planning and design of ships.
    • Surveyors: Independent, Flag, Classification Society
    • Chandelier – ISSA Catalogue (General and victualing)
    • https://www.issashipstorescatalogue.com/en/signin
    • Manager: Direct / Outsourced
    • Vessel Manager – Commercial / Tech (FMA/VMA) and/or
    • Crew Manager (DoC and SMC ) / Recruitment companies
    • Shipping Fright Broker – acts as a link between those who want to ship the cargo and the shipping agencies that will carry it. It is a competitive and rewarding field.
    • Maritime Security Jobs – This officer job has been in great demand lately due to the increase in piracy activity.
    • Support Services in Port:
    • Mooring boat
    • Crew Uniform
    • General ancillaries
    • Subsea Engineer – handles digging out crude oil and gases from marine reserves using the latest technologies
    • Ports Services (Ship’s pilot, bunker suppliers and tugs boat owner – assisted berthing, salvage, tow to/fro sea.
    • Safe Navigation:
      • Buoy Makers  (navigation marks) which is manufactured and put in place.
      • IMO / Nautical books sellers including Charts 
      • The underwriters and other Insurance employees
      • P&l Clubs  .
    • Loading & Discharge Port:
    • Port authorities, pilots, tugs, linemen, berthing masters, ships’ agents, customs and immigration officials, port State inspectors and Navy, coastguards.
    • Stevedores, Canal workers, the dredgers, maintenance personnel, crane builders / maintenance and makers of cargo-handling equipment, Logistic people who bring cargoes to the ports e.g. barge crews, infrastructure managers and many more.
    • Consulting services,
    • Insurance,
    • Brokerage,
    • Classification,
    • Maritime Tourism 
    • financial services and,
    • Arrays of services .

Futuristic opportunities

  • Knowledge based era on the platform modern technology
  • Environmentally friendly shipping
    • Untapped potential both with regard to making shipping greener and by developing new and employ known technology across the ocean space.
  • The Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS):
    • Vessel conning (e- crew (Navigators / Engineers)
  • Ridding Crew for spot ship maintenance
  • Blue Growth ( more holistic management of complex marine social-ecological systems) – Noting the international nature of shipping, collaboration is necessary
  • DRONE DELIVERY OF STORES
    • Operators
    • Drone makers / Engineering (assembly plants)
    • Suppliers
    • Salvage
  • E-SEA FARERS (Response to MASS)
    •  Lecturers
    • Deck / Engine operators
    • Platform operators

Online Services : With reliable online services for many of the shipping companies, Freight Forwarders and others (see backslides from CRFFN

WAY FORWARD

  • COMPETENCY / QUALITY / STREAMLING OF OPERATIONS
  • DYNAMISM
  • PERCEPTION (Ekpang effect)

Ladies and gentlemen, opportunities abound in the Maritime and You could work in ocean freight, warehousing, ocean shipping logistics, trucking, sales, freight forwarding, air freight, railway, or as a terminal operator.

Together the economic impact created by this sector is of unimaginable impact (vast and competitive) – creating jobs, attracting foreign investments, supporting allied  industries, improved standard of living, positive impact in creating cosmopolitan cities, increasing local purchasing power and offering plenty of business opportunities.

There is an ever growing need for different  types of talents in this industry and there are lots of business opportunities.

So, what are you waiting for ? Consider an innovative and rewarding career in the Maritime industry today. First by learning the basics, deciding where you could create a niche, raising your capital and going for it.

Maritime industry is strongly serve the demands of globalization

Maritime Opportunities – Blue Growth for a Green Future

It is estimated that there are about 90,000 merchant vessels of over 15t and nearly four million commercial fishing vessels plying the seas and oceans at any given moment.

This is quite serious topic and very topical and is aligned with the SDG and further being aggressively being dealt with in the on-going talks on BLuE Economy. Let us take the subject word by word and firstly CREATION.

Investments in the maritime will be highly shown in the Maritime cluster and typical rove around building and repairing of ships, ships calling in to the ports and cargo being moved in and out (maritime logistics) and ships being retired or scrapped easily

Creation is a conscious effort on ingenuity. And it may involve bringing something into existence from nothing or the modifying / enhancement of an existing thing. The thing here is a JOB. Let me not bore you with what a job is as you can find that out from goggle or your experience. So someone needs to create the jobs. Who is the someone> it most likely would be the Government, a company and/or  Individuals. There is a big problem when that responsibility is solely left to the government, company or individuals. If left to the government alone then you will start having things like civil service sates where jobs can only be gotten in civil service alone. Government can create jobs with the mind of improving the employment rates in the country but not necessarily for profit. But individuals will most certainly only think of job creation with their mind firstly on profit and then on ensuring people are employed. However, I know of someone in Nigeria that looked at the issues around us and came up with a  solution and she created a solution.. she saw pollution as a major issue and created Marine Litter Marshalls to deal with this (please can the person raised his or her hand for recognition  if she’s here)

Making the best of the blue economy requires a holistic approach of all stakeholders including the Government (legislators, the executive, Judiciary and all MDAs), the people (investors, business owners, labourers (human capital), the host communities, the managers and all sundries. 

 With respect to creation of Job, some school of thoughts think that a lot can be done without the full involvement of the government but that can only be at subsistence and artisan level, however, there is the need for full government involvement for the businesses to thrive and be moved to international player status.

On the government side this should start with assets and resources mapping (what do you have and what does the world out there require.  This will also include the full knowledge your Maritime Cluster. See pictures.

 Closely following Assets and resources mapping will be the need to have your Maritime Policy and Strategy.  Then there are the issues of policies – is the business environment friendly, are investments secured, , can profits be exported easily, what of financial and physical security, fiscal / monetary policies, import duties, interest rates, availability of loan facilities, tax holiday for start ups and many more including, currency stability. All these are some of the factors that could attract investors or distract them.

In summary the government is expected to make the right and business-friendly policies and laws, enforcing them and ensuring safety and security are maintained.. Example is your wanting to increase shipping capacity but then your waters are full of pirates and kidnappers? Who will be careless enough to have his vessels out there when pirates are attacking and crews are  kidnapped for ransoms. So the bad guys need to be apprehended and punished to deter them and this will improve investors’ confidence.

Conclusion

SKILL acquisition (salability / marketability): You are a product and so you must be sellable. Quality and the excellence are the watch word that can improve your visibility but your attitude is that which will sustain you.  Quality and excellence have a lot to do with the MT and how responsive you all are. Are you in an approved MTI? Excellence and character cum attitude have much to do with your crucified self (Humility and respect over pride and arrogance). The purest gold is the one that has been through the fire several times for the impurities to be removed and that determines its purity level. For you as a person, have you been through the fire and all impurities (negative character) filtered out

There is surely a job that will suit your skills and allow you to excel as you build your career

A study by the South African Maritime Safety Authority

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has launched a study aimed at contributing to the process of skills development and empowerment in the maritime sector.

The Maritime Skills Development Study, in partnership with the Human Resource Development Council South Africa, will help to highlight the skills gap within the broader maritime sector and to provide further insights on pivotal interventions needed by the industry.

“We value the partnerships forged with private international companies to assist with cadets deployment but we also need to remind South Africans about the economic value that will be brought should we have our very own human capital to quantify for the employment opportunities on the business shore,” said SAMSA CEO, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele.