Okeke wins 2013 Ships & Ports Essay Competition

Nigeria’s leading maritime media firm, Ships &Ports Communication Company, has announced the winners of the 7th edition of its Annual National Essay Competition.

During the official prize presentation ceremony at the UAC Training Centre in Apapa, Lagos on Wednesday 18th December, 2013; a maritime practitioner, Christopher Okeke, was announced as the winner of the 2013 essay completion carting away the Best Overall Essay prize worth N100,000. Okeke works with A-Kan Nigeria Limited, a maritime and transport logistics firm.

Other winners include Esogwa Godwin who won the Sifax Group Prize for Creativity and Ola Idris Olasunmbo who won the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) Prize for Best Researched Essay. Tobechukwu Emmanuel and Anthony Itodo Samuel both won the Comptroller Charles Edike Prize for Outstanding Essay.

Certificates, souvenirs and various cash prizes were presented by the organisers of the competition to the owners.

The Best Overall Essay prize winner, Okeke, who holds first and second degrees in maritime management, lamented the domination of the shipping sector by non-practitioners even as he decried the lack of professionalism in the sector.

“I have actively participated in the essay competition since inception except for one or two times that I missed it and I have won different prizes before now but this is the first time that I will emerge overall winner. I am very grateful to the organisers for instituting this competition and I strongly identify with their vision. The maritime industry today is where it is because professionals are not in position. Charlatans have taken over the industry and at best, they engage professionals to serve as their aides and in a position like that, there is very little that the professionals are able to accomplish,” Okeke said.

While congratulating the winners of the 2013 maritime essay competition, Akinola said there was need to revive the reading and writing culture among Nigerian youths. He said many young Nigerians find it difficult to engage in extensive reading and research, a situation which he said has been made worse by multiple television stations and social media.

Akinola said that Ships & Ports prides itself as the “leading maritime media firm in Nigeria with a definite commitment to open up the industry to Nigerians.”

Akinola said that the Nigerian maritime industry has enormous potentials that are capable of addressing unemployment in Nigeria. He said apart from the annual essay competition, Ships & Ports also hosts the annual Maritime Cup Competition and the annual Shipping Career Summit in additional to a daily free newspaper and daily radio programmes.

The Ships & Ports Annual National Essay Competition started in 2006 with Atakpa Sunday Daniel, then a Lieutenant Commander but now a Captain in the Nigerian Navy emerging winner.

Other winners of the competition include Adewale Opeyemi (2008); Felix Ifeanyi Ejike –Ume (2009) and Uchenna Jerome Orji who won a new Kia Piccanto Car in 2010.

Peter Chukwuma Okparaocha won the 2011 edition while Funke Abimbola Olotu won the 2012 edition of the competition.