By Ayo Ajayi
The maritime industry, though vast, is a relatively untapped sector in Nigeria with huge potentials. It is important to bridge the generational gap in the sector by whetting the appetite of the young generation regarding the opportunities in the sector in a bid to catch them young.
This is why Hon. Olaitan Williams, founder of Ocean Ambassadors Foundation, has over the years worked passionately in bridging the generation gap in the industry by raising the interest of teenagers across secondary schools in Nigeria through various maritime competitions within and outside the country.
She compiled a book titled; A Compendium of Maritime Career Presentations for Secondary School Teens. The book showcases in very simple terminology, an indebt analysis of opportunities prevalent in the sector for secondary schools teenagers who are the future leaders of the maritime space.
This is the first of its kind in Africa.
According to her, the book showcases her efforts and activities with schools and maritime space through Ocean Ambassadors Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation which programmes has been approved by the University of Lagos to the postgraduate level because of it entrepreneurial opportunities.
“It’s a human capacity building organization that tends to open up maritime sector at an early age to students. I am an indigene of Lagos State and Nigeria is a maritime hub and I am in the maritime sector itself. But, when you see young adults telling you that they don’t have jobs, you begin to wonder why, when a maritime nation has so many untapped opportunities but not annexed yet.
“So, I decided to come up with my friends who are also in the maritime sector at a regional level, not only in Nigeria for us to form the Ocean Ambassadors Club, whereby young students would be exposed to the maritime world.
“The foundation has successfully empowered youths and teenagers to find a place in the maritime industry across the country.
“We work towards achieving the primary goal of getting the upcoming generation interested in the maritime sector by carving a niche during the early years with the bottom to top approach.
“Our foundation is passionate about exposing the secondary school age students about the career opportunities available in the maritime sector.
“The vision is to get the upcoming generation to be interested in the maritime sector and to carve a niche at an early age.
“Our mission is to advocate for a nation thriving on the blue Economy footprint which will eradicate joblessness through the untapped vast resources and opportunities available with the seas and oceans.
“The wide gap between the human capital needs and the available manpower in the sector has its economic consequences and to arrest this ugly trend, we have developed a strategic action plan with the bottom to top approach in a catch them the young initiative in the maritime sector.