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Nigerian wins global maritime essay competition

· NIMASA DG, Others meet to advance world maritime   

A Nigerian, Iorliam Simon Tersoo, has
won the Future Maritime Leaders essay competition organised by the Global
Maritime Forum. 

Tersoo’s article titled, “Emerging Technologies: Autonomous
Shipping and Seafarers’ Continuous Professional (Ir) Relevance,” was among top
three essays selected from 140 shortlisted entries from 46 countries that
participated in the annual competition.

The Maritime Safety Officer at the
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the other two
winners made compelling presentations on their essays at the ongoing Global
Maritime Forum in Singapore, where the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku
Peterside, is a major participant. 

Dakuku is one of three leaders in Africa
invited to the exclusive industry forum, which focuses on addressing the
burning issues in the maritime industry and proffering viable strategies to
meet the challenges of the future.

Tersoo wrote on how to prepare the
next generation of seafarers for digitalised ships, which is believed to be the
future of shipping. 

He anchored his write-up to the bourgeoning technological
innovation, Maritime Autonomous Surface Ship (MASS), which the International
Maritime Organisation (IMO) defines as a ship which “can operate independently
of human interaction.” 

His essay painted the picture of a
future where ships will be fully digitalised, automated, autonomously piloted,
and controlled from both onshore and offshore. He described this as the next
phase of disruptive innovation in shipping.

Tersoo acknowledged the immense
benefits of the autonomous shipping regime, but identified a major challenge of
the innovation as the threat posed to the jobs of the over 1.5 seafarers
working onboard ships worldwide. 

To address this challenge, he said the
committee on Human Element Training and Watch-keeping (HTW) of IMO’s Maritime
Safety Committee (MSC) “will have to re-organise the curriculum of Maritime
Training Institutions (MTIs) globally to embrace this new trend, tilting
seafarers training more towards maritime information communications technology
(ICT) and regulations that can enable them to participate effectively in the
technological revolution.” 

He also recommended the retraining of existing
seafarers to fit into the new digital era.   

Tersoo, a product of the Nigerian
Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), had worked on board a vessel and is now
fully involved in regulatory duties at NIMASA. So he had the opportunity of
seeing both sides of the life of a seafarer.  

He attributed his success in the essay competition to the push for a
knowledge driven organisation by the current leadership of NIMASA, saying he is
challenged daily by leadership and innovation at the Agency.

Two other essays written by Yiqi
Zhang, a 30-year-old PhD Student at the Hong Kong University of Science and
Technology, China, and Line Fryd Hofmansen, a 26-year-old Management Consultant
at PA Consulting Group, Denmark, were among the winning entries.

According to the Global Maritime
Forum, “The competition aims to give students and young professionals aged
18-30 a voice in the debate about how the maritime industry can sustainably
address maritime challenges and opportunities – and the industry a chance to

The winners of the competition won a
chance to attend the Global Maritime Forum Annual Summit 2019 in Singapore, all
expenses covered, together with 200 leaders from inside and outside the
maritime industry, where they will represent the voice of the young

“The Future Maritime Leaders essay
competition represents an invaluable opportunity for young people aspiring to
become the leaders of the future to meet and engage with senior maritime
stakeholders,” the Global Maritime Forum added.

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