Royal Father Marine Engineer encourages daughter on career at sea

HRH Obi Obiora Nwabuikwu, the Obiatuegwu 11 of Umuatuegwu-Okija, Anambra State

His Royal Highness, Obi Obiora Nwabuikwu, the Obiatuegwu 11 of Umuatuegwu- Okija, Anambra State, is gladly encouraging his youngest daughter for a career in marine engineering, according to her choice.
HRH, himself an accomplished marine engineer, said he was glad when his daughter, who would be completing high school soon, made a choice after a career path he had found fulfillment all his work life.

“My daughter has insisted on studying to become a marine engineer and take on a career path in it.  I have actually encouraged her and giving her mentorship. As a marine engineer myself, who has had a fulfillment from my career, I will support her to go as far as she wants,” HRH Obi Nwabuikwu said.

Speaking on the occasion of hosting members of the Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES) to his palace in Lagos, the Royal Father said that although a number of women studied with him in school in the UK, being at sea for long periods of time was very demanding on women.

On why there are no women as members of the association presently, he said: “That is an aberration actually. Most of us who studied in the UK had women as classmates.
But again, marine engineering and seafaring is a very tedious and tough job. 
Most of our female classmates who joined the maritime industry in marine engineering and navigation, tend to get married early in their career and got concerned with building the family. Though most of them progressed in the UK and some in places like Ghana and Kenya, Egypt. Sadly, it is not so in Nigeria.”

HRH Obi Nwabuikwu, however, identified the challenge of poor ship owning in Nigeria as hindrance to more female training to qualify for sea jobs.

He said: “Again, Nigeria as a country has very poor ship ownership, which is one reasons. We have a dearth of berths where budding seafarers and marine engineers will take their initial training and progress.

“The country needs to make a conscious effort to build a National Carrier. A huge percentage of us were trained by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), NigerLine, the National Inland Waterways, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), all government agencies.”

On the contributions of AMES to sustaining the maritime industry in Nigeria, HRH Obi  Nwabuikwu said members of the association have made and continue to make meaning contributions by reason of their work in various spheres of the industry.

“AMES is a foremost maritime association, made up of the crème of the shipping and maritime industry. We are the leaders running and maintenance of vessels and shipping in general. We have over time advised all institutions, organisations, ministries, departments and agencies.

“Our members cut across marine engineers, surveyors and those into ship repairs. Over time, we have advised NPA, NIMASA, NNPC, and we have been trying to mentor and provide technical knowledge and our experiences to key areas in the development of the maritime industry and also institutions.”

He expressed certainty of more value from the association to the maritime industry by way of their summits, where papers are delivered on various aspects of marine engineering as a vital part of the maritime operations.