The blue economy will prosper in the future with good government – Francis Akpan

ORON (Akwa Ibom) – According to Rear Admiral Francis Akpan (rtd), effective administration will improve the nation’s blue economy going forward.

In a speech he gave on Tuesday at the Maritime Lecture for the 2023 Cadets graduation conducted at the Maritime Academy, Oron, Akpan made this claim.

‘Emerging Challenges and Opportunities for Maritime Workforce in the Blue Economy’ was the topic of his speech.

According to him, the blue economy’s advantages and potential might be realised with the help of well-crafted policies, sufficient financing, and appropriate regulation to prevent policy misuse. He told the 157 graduating cadets that there were a lot of opportunities for them in the maritime industry.

He claims that the blue economy is a better option than the oil sector since it has the potential to employ and pay the hordes of young people.

“The concept of blue economy provides a more holistic vision that embraces economic growth,” stated Akpan, the guest lecturer at the event.

He claimed that the nation was on the correct road to capitalise on the vast advantages of the blue economy sector with the creation of the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.

According to him, the maritime workforce is crucial to the blue economy because it provides the human capital needed to make concepts work.

He further said that there were opportunities for the cadets in the areas of maritime services, such as ship brokering and charter services.

Others include insurance and underwriting, naval architecture, fleet management, marine risk management, Maritime law and arbitration and flight forwarding, among others.

“Fishing, trawling and fish farming will require a huge maritime workforce, considering the huge gap between demand and supply value chain in a blue economy.

“The cumulative effect of direct and indirect jobs from maritime tourism will help reduce the nation’s unemployment level,” Akpan said.

Another lecturer, Dr Kevin Okonna, said that “digitilisation is crucial for the maritime industry”. Okonna’s lecture was captioned, “Digitilisation in the Maritime Industry and the Prospect/Challenges for Skilled Maritime Workforce”.

According to him, digitization is the process of transferring analogue data to digital, like turning a paper document into a PDF, whereas digitization is the use of technology to improve business procedures, like holding meetings via Zoom.

Okonna, a former lecturer at the academy, urged the cadets to embrace digitisation to remain relevant in the industry.

He claimed that digitization will guarantee the effectiveness and safety of maritime transportation as well as the seamless operation of international supply networks.

“Today’s customers’ expectations require reliable, flexible, transparent and cost efficient transport services.

“The support of digital technologies is essential to better manage sea transportation,” he said.

Okonna praised Commodore Duja Effedua, the academy’s rector, for seeing to it that every function inside the organisation is digitally transformed.

He claimed that because lectures and exams were given virtually during the COVID-19 outbreak, digitization was what allowed the academy to continue holding academic activities in the institution.

The 2023 lecture theme is “Evolving Career Opportunities in the Global Blue Economy”.