By Sade Williams
Ambassador Mike Ononaiye, former Nigerian Ambassador to Portugal and Nigerian Representative to the United Nations (UN), has called on students to be focused in life and work hard to deliver on their visions and dreams for the future while ensuring they hold firmly to the tenets of fairness and forthrightness.
He made the call at the 6th Air Transport Youth Empowerment Seminar and Grand Finale of the 7th National Travel Essay Competition (NTEC 2015/2016) held at the Training Centre of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Annex, Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos recently.
The novel event which is aimed at Raising Future Aviation Professionals had as its theme: Choosing An Exciting Career: Why Aviation?
Also, Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Capt. Samuel Caulcrick, who was represented by the Training Manager, Capt. Jim Hassan, in his keynote address, explained the various opportunities available to youngsters in Aviation and encouraged them to embrace aviation as a career path in view of the fact that it is an exciting and dynamic sector with free of boredom or monotony.
“NCAT is the only aviation college in Nigeria that conducts a holistic training of aviation personnel in virtually all of the main aspects of aviation and the school is highly rated in the world among the best. Our courses are highly subsidised by the government and we have qualified instructors with globally recognised certifications,” he noted.
Founder and Coordinator of NTEC, Mr. Ewos Iroro, said: “Since its inception in 2009, NTEC has grown steadily to become an air transport industry succession plan initiative that has attracted participation from students as far afield as Kaduna in the North, Port Harcourt in the South, as well as Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory together with all the states from the South West of Nigeria and a few in the East. We are gradually achieving our vision of getting young Nigerians into aviation and today have several of our past winners who are currently training to become young aviators in various fields of endeavour.”
The grand finale of the 7th National Travel Essay Competition (NTEC 2015/2016) saw students from Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions competing for laurels in two categories bringing to an end a six-month long process of entries being sent in by interested participants.
In the Secondary Schools Category students were assessed on the topic: “Human Factors In Air Transport Safety” while that of the Tertiary institutions Category was: “Curbing Internal and External Threats To Aviation Security.”
An Independent Panel Assessors graded the written articles including Mr. Ayodele Ojo, Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA); Alhaji Yahaya Gusau, DGM, Aeronautical Information Services, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA); Mrs. Fola Akande, Chief Air Transport Officer (CATO), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA); Mrs. Modupe Oyerinde, DGM, Commercial & Statistics, NCAA; and Mr. Basil Agboarumi, Head, Corporate Communications, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL); and Mr. Felix Anyanwu, Assistant General Manager, AIS/Charts, NCAA.
About 60 entries were received in all and of these; the top ten students in each category were invited to the Grand Finale to compete for top honours through a session of oral assessments in defence of their essays.
At the end of the keenly contested assessment the winners emerged in the Secondary Schools Category as follows: Otti Faustina of Barachel Model College, Olambe, Ogun State in 1st place; Igweonu Chiamaka of Murtala Muhammed Airport Secondary School (MMASS), Ikeja in 2nd place and Ekuma Oma of Princeton College, Surulere, Lagos in 3rd place.
Others are: Shobanke Adetola of International School (Unilag) Lagos in 4th place; Akintade Emmanuel also of International School (Unilag) Lagos in 5th place; Nwachi Oziomachukwu of Murtala Muhammed Airport Secondary School (MMASS), Ikeja in 6th place and Oseni Naomi of Princeton College, Surulere, Lagos in 7th place.
Yet others were: Olanrewaju Tomilola of Emmagrace Private School, Igando, Lagos in 8th place; Ogo David in 9th place; and Atiku Jummai in 10th place both also from Emmagrace Private School. It was the first time in the history of the contest that the grand prize winner emerged from outside Lagos.
Otti Faustina, winner of the Grand Prize for NTEC 2015/16 went home with a free ticket to Kigali courtesy of RwandAir; plus a cash prize of N100,000. She also becomes the Industry Ambassador for the next one year and will participate in key industry programmes as well as carry out several youth centred functions.
Second prize was N60,000 cash and a free return ticket to Ghana sponsored by Med-View Airlines; and the 3rd prize was a cash prize of N40,000 as well as a free return ticket to any destination nationwide sponsored by DANA Air. There were also cash prizes of N20,000 each for 4th – 6th positions and N10,000 each for 7th – 10th positions.
In the Tertiary Institutions Category, the following Winners emerged: Mr. Epemolu Oladipupo, a Business Administration Student of University of Lagos (Unilag) in 1st place; Miss Lawson Peace, a Law Student of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Abeokuta, Ogun State in 2nd place and, Mr. Igweonu Tobena, also a Law Student of Unilag in 3rd place.
There were also consolation prizes for 4th and 5th positions which went to Ademokan Adedoyin and Ogunleye Mary respectively and both from Unilag.
First prize winner, Epemolu Oladipupo went home with a cash prize of N150,000 and an all expenses paid trip to South Africa courtesy of African Business Travel Association (ABTA). The second prize was N100,000 cash with a free ticket to Ghana also courtesy of Med-View Airlines. Third prize was N50,000 cash and a free ticket to any destination in Nigeria sponsored by DANA Air. The fourth prize was N30,000 and the fifth prize was N20,000 cash.
This year also, Travel & Business News partnered with Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation, a non-governmental organisation set up to care for the orphaned girl child.
As part of the foundation’s goal in developing the educational prowess of such children, while encouraging healthy competition among them, the organisation organised a writing contest on the topic: “Education In Nigeria, Effectively Managing Abuse, Violence and Security Issues.” The contest was eventually won by Miss Fawzeeyah Eyinimofe Olaniyan who went home with a free ticket to any destination in Nigeria courtesy of DANA Air. “Travel & Business News decided to join forces with DANA Air in supporting the Foundation in a bid to not only empower the girl child but to also give back to society by supporting and motivating them to live their dreams in spite of their experience in life,” Mr. Iroro said.
Immediate past Winners of the competition were also presented with awards of recognition for being worthy ambassadors for the past one year. They include Miss Halim Blessing, Winner, NTEC 2014/15 in the Secondary Schools Category and Miss Eyiaro Mary, Winner NTEC 2014/15 in the Tertiary Institutions Category.
The National Travel Essay Competition (NTEC) is a Future Workforce Development Initiative (FWDI) of Travel & Business News. The 2016/2017 edition of the contest is scheduled to open on November 1, 2016.