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Nigerian Students urged to take advantage of Blue Economy project



Nigerian Students urged to take advantage of Blue Economy project

Nigerian students have been enjoined to key into the numerous advantages that exist in the maritime sector through the Blue Economy project.

The Executive Director, Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Prof. Capt. Abiodun Sule gave the advice at the 6th Annual Maritime Students and Youth (AMSAY) conference with the theme, “Job Creation For Nigerian Youths Through Maritime Sector”, organized by Platform Communications in Lagos over the weekend.

Sule who doubled as the Chairman of the occasion hinted that there were lots of opportunities in the maritime industry, adding that the Blue Economy which was about the sector, came with different job descriptions and opportunities.

According to him, the Energy is being harnessed from the Blue Economy, black gold is being harnessed from the Blue Economy, tourism goes on with the Blue Economy, shipping goes on in the Blue Economy and all these require manpower to man it.

Sule believed that if the youths are trained to come into the industry, a great number of them can be taken out of the shelf of unemployment as most of the players in the sub-sector are not Nigerians.

” The other day we were discussing and there was a certain job description and they were looking for Nigerians and the job is called ETO, I think they repair equipment onboard most of our vessels.

“Now you find out that we don’t have Nigerians in that sector and if you are working for that niche, you are paid between $30 to $600 a day,” he said.

A senior lecturer at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Prof. Callistus Ibe, in his goodwill message challenged the students to develop their critical thinking skills, dream dreams and be creative and innovative, saying that all of these were the 21st-century knowledge skills.

Ibe urged the students to develop their knowledge and skills to benefit from the untapped potential in the maritime sector.

He observed that the organizers of the conference had selected sixty technocrats in the maritime industry as mentors even as he advised them to start picking this wealth of knowledge and experiences to become the future experts in the maritime industry.

“I have no doubt in me that the organizers of this AMSAY conference 2022 want you to become better professionals and better people hence this gathering of different professionals with different experiences and students from different schools offering maritime studies in Nigeria to come together and interact in a conference of this type.

You cannot get it elsewhere.

“This is a rare opportunity in one’s academic life.

Those of us here, your mentors never had this kind of opportunity, we lost it.

We didn’t have it but in your own case, you are having it.

“I, therefore, urge you to make good use of this privileged opportunity and ensure that you maximized the greatest value of having these experienced professionals so that you can in turn become better professionals in the future.

“You have been prepared to receive the greatest value because you have good and experienced professionals from the industry as your mentors.

This is a take-home of this AMSAY conference 2022.

” Go home and become better individuals and create value wherever you find yourself because you have interacted with the best professionals in the industry,” Ibe stated.

In her own speech, Founder and President, African Marine Environment Sustainability Initiative, Dr. Mrs. Chinwe Felicia Mogo, advised the students to discover themselves first in whatever they set out to do; who they were and who they want to be adding, “When you are able to tell yourself the truth, then, you kick off from there and if you discover yourself and know who you want to be, then you focus on those qualities that will make you who you want to be and not what you want another person to be; just you this time.”

“Focus on the important things and put yourself together, focus on your studies, get the best result and you will know whether you have a job or not because once you have that knowledge, you will be able to diversify.

You may not actually wait for somebody to employ you because you may end up becoming employers of labour.

“Reject negative peer pressure.

We know it, we hear a lot of stories about what is happening in secondary schools, the Universities even in primary schools, things we never heard about before like cults.

“You have to dissociate yourself from such things.

Let us not use religion to destroy ourselves and as I said, if you are focused, you will not get involved in anything political or religious that will lead to war or that will lead to the state of anarchy that will eventually consume you.

“Hard work pays and you must work very hard.

All these opportunities in the private organizations that we have now in the maritime sector, eventually, they will hand over and nobody will like to hand over his lifetime sweat to a nonentity.

So, you can imagine that you work hard and you make it.

You may not even request for it, they will invite you, and they will call on you.

“So, don’t worry about how the nation is, finish your school, make very good results and let’s see how it goes.

I have always told people, that there are opportunities, the sky is so wide that all birds fly without hitting themselves.

“Don’t be discouraged by what you are seeing now, just play your own part and I am telling you that it will be okay out there.

So, for now, just focus on making the best result, that is your job for now.

Understudy the good people you admire and how they made it and you will be like them.”

Assuring the students that there were so many opportunities in the maritime sector, she added, “from the way I am seeing it, the dynamism of it, how technology is overtaking, I believe it will favour you the younger generations than us because things are changing.

You have robotics, some countries are talking about unmanned Vessels, drones to go and take samples of polluted areas and things like that.

It’s changing so fast you know, it’s so impressive but I know that it’s providing more opportunities for you, even in the event where you have a problem, if you want to make that change, you are talking about pollution, who will clear the pollution? Who will clear the marine litters? This is business also, it’s a business opportunity.

So, make use of that opportunity and see how much you can achieve.

Don’t ever be discouraged, you will make it.”

Earlier in his welcome address, Chief Executive Officer, Platforms Communications, Mr. Sylvanus Obasi called on the students to explore all avenues, policies in the sub-sector that can facilitate the chances for more job creation.

Obasi noted that this year’s edition of AMSAY Conference was germane for the Nigerian youths, adding that the future of Nigerian students must be secured in line with job creation and  potentials of the sector.


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SON vows to checkmate quackery in management system practice



SON vows to checkmate quackery in management system practice

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says it has mapped out plans to get rid of quacks involved in management system practice in the country.

Its Director-General, Malam Farouk Salim, made this known on Thursday at a one-day stakeholders’ engagement for the National Register for Conformity Assessment Practitioners (NRCAP) in Lagos.

Salim said the move would put an end to unscrupulous individuals who shortchanged companies and individuals.

According to him, the quacks lacked the required competency to operate in the management system space.

Salim said that conformity assessment practice was central to the sustenance of commercial success and continuity in all sectors.

He said that management system practitioners were vital toward ensuring that practices carried out by the industries “are in alignment with the international best practice in terms of the expectations of existing conformity assessment standards”.

“It is in view of the importance of the authenticity and traceability of products and services to meet the requirements of relevant Nigerian Industrial Standards and other approved specifications.

“SON seeks to pursue the implementation of Part II, Section 4(d) and Part III, Section 5 of the SON Act No.14 of 2015.

“Via the operation of the NRCAP scheme, in order to establish a directory of verified and registered Conformity Assessment Practitioners in Nigeria for all laboratories, management system consultants, Training Service Providers, Certification bodies, inspection bodies, inspectors, auditors and assessors.”

He said that lack of regulation of activities of the practitioners over the years had negatively impacted the industry and country significantly.

Salim listed other impacts including: “poor protection of genuine practitioners, unhealthy competition, poor visibility and recognition of genuine and competent practitioners capable of attracting patronage.

“Others are poor value for money for unsuspecting customers patronising quacks who deliver poor services.”

He also said that lack of official register of competent practitioners to aid national planning and coordination of economic activities that border on standardisation and quality assurance was also a challenge to the growth of the economy.

“This engagement is guided by the strategic collaboration/partnership that SON shares with various organisations over time, especially with the SON Management Systems Certification and Training Services Departments with which you interface through your customers, of which you are expected to bring to bear, your wealth of experience to this national call,” he said.

The SON director-general said that the registration processes, including approved guidelines, expectations of benchmarking Conformity Assessment standards and interests while developing the documents, were taken into consideration to ensure that impartiality of the process was assured.

He said that adequate training was given to the practitioners to boost their service delivery.

Earlier, Bode Oke, the First President, Society for Management System Practitioners of Nigeria, said the group would join hands with SON to stem quackery in the system to ensure that consumers get value for money they spent.

Oke said: “We are here to gain more knowledge and to join SON in the registration of all management system practitioners.

“We are going to partner with SON to ensure that the exercise is successful because we have a lot of companies practicing management systems that are not trained and competent.

“We are working together with SON to ensure that we remove all those incompetent people from the system.

“So that whenever a client approaches practitioners for registration, the client will know that he will not be shortchanged and get value for the money spent,” he said.

Oke said that the roles of system practitioners were vital in business growth and development.

He stressed that the system practitioners were responsible for taking companies through quality management systems certification, environmental management system certification, occupational health and safety certification and food management system certification.

“The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has established standards for all management systems.

“And, therefore, anyone that would lead companies to obtain this certification must be competent.

“This is why SON is regulating all the auditors, consultants and even, the certification bodies because we have some certification bodies coming from outside the country that are not competent, so competency is the key word here,” he said.

In her remarks, Patricia Solarin, a Consultant in the Quality Management System Practice, said that standardisation was germane for industrial development.

Solarin said: “There are so many briefcase-carrying consultants that are going around duping clients and most of these consultants did not even pass their audit test and examination.

“Without standardisation or regulations, it will be difficult to stop the quacks. A lot of companies are being shortchanged, because people taking them through certification do not really know much.

“So, SON is trying to register auditors and consultants, which is a welcome development to ensure that people get value for their hard money spent.”

She commended the leadership style of Salim for taking a bold step to tackle the challenges, urging the government to support SON to achieve greater feats.

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NECA wants FG to tackle challenges stifling businesses



NECA wants FG to tackle challenges stifling businesses

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has urged the Federal Government to demonstrate commitment to addressing monetary and fiscal policy challenges stifling businesses.

The NECA Director-General,  Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde,  made the call in a statement on Thursday in Lagos, listing such challenges as foreign exchange dichotomy, fuel subsidies, multiple taxations, among others.

He made the call, just as he commended the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and government for embracing dialogue to avert the nationwide strike by the workers’ union earlier scheduled to start on March 29.

“The quick response by the government to ease the cash liquidity and the corresponding immediate positive effect on the economy demonstrated that it has the capacity to address policies once it is determined to do so.

“Therefore, we call for similar determination and consultative engagements with the private sector and other relevant stakeholders to proffer solutions to business challenges in order to facilitate competitiveness and productivity, “ he said.

He commended the efforts of the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, and the Minister of Labour and Employment for personally getting involved.

He also lauded them for monitoring the disbursement to ensure compliance with the bank’s directive to end the cash crunch, of which the economic nerve centre and other areas had started witnessing improvement.

“The CBN has shown goodwill and true support for the ailing economy by immediately disbursing cash to the commercial banks.

“Also, by directing the banks to open beyond their normal working hours to ease the cash crunch in the nation: an action which could have been averted in the first place, “ he said.

Oyerinde, however, warned that the ripple effects of the cash swap policy would linger as it would take considerable time for businesses, especially the informal sector, to recover.

He said that many of them had closed due to low purchasing power of consumers.

The NECA chief said that business activities had stagnated in the last 10 weeks of the implementation of redesigning of the currency policy nationwide.

He said this had led to reduced productive output, high inventory and jobs cut, and impediments to personal and business transactions.

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Court Declares Activities of Kogi Transport Management Agency as Illegal



Court Declares Activities of Kogi Transport Management Agency as Illegal

…Says laws establishing KOTRAMA is inhuman***

A Kogi High Court on Thursday declared the activities of the Kogi Transport Management Authority (KOTRAMA), as illegal.

Justice Clement Kekere of High Court 10 made the order while delivering judgment in a case instituted against the agency by an Abuja-based lawyer,  Mr. Martin Atojoko.

Kereke, who faulted the law establishing KATROMA.

“By the evidence before the court, I hereby order that the Law establishing the agency be set aside forthwith.

“This is because the law made by the state house of assembly contravenes the Provisions of the Federal Road Safety Commission Act 2007.

“In all, the laws establishing KOTRAMA is inhuman, and is established to cause hardship on motorists,” the judge held.

The judge also awarded the plaintiff, N100,000 as general damages against the agency.

Atojoko had sued KATROMA and joined the Kogi House of Assembly, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice and the state government as second, third and fourth defendants in the matter.

Atojoko had prayed the court to compel the defendants to pay him N10 million as general and exemplary damages for inter-alia the first defendant’s unlawful and illegal action of detaining and impounding his car.

The plaintiff had told the court in his originating summon that on June 22, 2022, he was stopped by officers of KOTRAMA over an expired driver’s licence while they impounded his Toyota Corolla car.

“My lord, I only got my car back the next day, after paying N10,000 in fines, an action which is but a contravention of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Law of 2007, ” he said.

Atojoko thereafter prayed the court to issue an order declaring that the second defendant could not make laws empowering the first defendant to exercise the powers of the Federal Road Safety Corp (Establishment) Act, 2007 in inspecting the driver’s license of motorists, issued by the FRSC and codifying same in Kogi Road Traffic Administration and Vehicle Inspection Law, 2018.

“A declaration that all the provisions of the Kogi Road Traffic Administration and Vehicle Inspection Law, 2018, empowering the first defendant to exercise the powers of the FRSC in the inspection of the driver’s license of motorists as invalid, illegal, unlawful, null and void ab initio.

“An order that the KOTRAMA cannot fine the plaintiff and impound his vehicle with registration No. 2T1BU4EE9AC312480, without first trying him and finding him guilty before a court of competent jurisdiction.

“An order that the act of the first defendant in impounding the vehicle and fining him without powers to do so is invalid, illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void, ab initio,” he pleaded.

But KATROMA and other defendants through their Counsel, Mr. B.O. Obenege, had debunked the claims of the plaintiff and said that the agency acted within the ambit of the law that established it.

Obenege claimed that the house of assembly Law that established KOTRAMA was not a duplication of the FRSC Law of 2007.

He prayed the Court to hold that the action of KOTRAMA has not contravened the Kogi Law or any other law, and the claimant was given a summary fine of N10,000, all in accordance with Section 1(3) of the Law.

“In conclusion, we urge your lordship to dismiss the case for lack of merit,” Obenege had pleaded with the court.

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