Ms Ronke Kosoko, Chief Executive Officer, Employment Clinic, has urged President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, to appoint experts that would turnaround the maritime industry.
Kosoko, who said this at a news conference in Lagos on Wednesday, appealed to Tinubu to look into creating job opportunities and addressing infrastructure deficit in the maritime industry.
Kosoko also congratulated Tinubu and Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for emerging victorious in the Presidential and governorship polls held on Feb. 25 and March 18, respectively.
According to Kosoko, over the last decade, the industry has been going down hence the call on the incoming government to tackle its challenges.
“The entire industry is looking forward to Sen. Bola Tinubu and Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for revival.
“There has been a dichotomy between the state and the federal. Now, we want to ensure that the centre aligns at some levels because if Lagos works, Apapa, for instance, is affecting the whole nation, if it works, if Lekki works, other states will work.
“That is the reason why some people look forward to Tinubu as president; it’s because of the work he did in Lagos. If he can unplug Lagos from the string of the Federal Government, we can do it in our state,” she said.
She said that since 2010, in the course of different administrations, a whole lot had happened in the maritime industry.
“Many of the decisions about why things are not working in Apapa was due to government.
“Lagos, being a literal state with three port cities, cannot be ignored. First and foremost, we laid a foundation which is to connect the dots at the governmental level.
“The second is employment and that was what pushed us into the Project One Million Jobs which had a link with government.
“The employment part of the industry is a segment, likewise infrastructure, policy, appointment issues. If they are not fused together, the maritime economy is not going anywhere.
“So, the president-elect and the governor of Lagos State should understand that there is need to pay attention to maritime economy,” she said.
She noted that the Project One Million Jobs was launched in 2013 and worked with the Chamber of Shipping.
“In 2014, they worked with cadets; in 2015 there was an election and then the maritime industry started declining.”
She said that the project was on course and had the Minister of Transportation backing it.
“We have been mandated to interface with the seven agencies under the Ministry of Transportation and have spoken with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers’Council (NSC) and others.
“We do not want to go on the journey alone; we need the media along and that is part of the reason we are having this session,” she said.
Kosoko added that there was also the Maritime Conversion Programme that would introduce Nigerian graduates to the maritime sector and thus help improve career prospects.
The maritime expert said the scheme, in its first phase, would take care of 5,000 graduates within Lagos, and with plans to ensure that the phase starts.
She said that the scheme, if it had 50 young people interested in career in maritime, media and communication, it would join them with people that had experience.
Kosoko said they would also go through three to four months training courses.
“At the end, they cannot be jobless.”
“We had paid a visit to cadets at Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, and asked for their data to know the number that would be salvaged for job opportunities.
“If we have graduates from those places, and they are connected to the right private sector, the private sector is always willing to listen. They will help with jobs,” she said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Source: News Agency of Nigeria