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Tribute to a beacon of Nigeria maritime industry Engr. Ibukunoluwa Akinsoji

By Hope Orivri, Ph.D.

When I finished discussing with Engr. Olu Akinsoji sometime in 2017, while I was preparing to write my book titled ‘Beacons of Nigeria Maritime Industry’, I just knew that I had a good problem on my hands. Engr. Akinsoji had shared so much information with me based on his working experiences as a marine engineer and I was lost in what would stay and what could be left out. But it was exciting, and like any good journalist who is hungry for keeping a brilliant news source, I kept him without any struggles. Undoubtedly, he was stuffed with so much factual maritime information all the time. He was highly cerebral yet didn’t fail to appreciate being called on for his views and analysis of issues concerning the maritime industry. I am glad we maintained that friendship and had a telephone conversation a few days before his passing. But he didn’t say goodbye.

I am pleased to share here excerpts from his experiences as documented in the book ‘Bacons of Nigerian Maritime Industry.’


When scholarships did not come for his admission to study Aeronautics Engineering, Akinsoji took opportunity of an offer by the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) to go through an alternative course to First Class Certificate of Competency in marine engineering in England. Someone had made the opportunity known to him while at his uncle’s house in Lagos.

Hardworking and confident of himself, Akinsoji made three distinctions in engineering drawing, marine technology, and electro-technology at the South Shields Marine and Technology College. After one year at sea, he got back to the Popular Technical College, now London University, did his Phase Three of the Board of Trade Certificate of Competency within one year, and then went back to sea.

After 18 months at sea, he came back to do his Second Class examination. The ship was actually at the port when he went to the hall, did his exams and came back to the ship. It was unique. But, when he finished another 18 months at sea and went back to school with a hope to writing the exams after three months, he was disappointed. He failed the exams, twice. It was a life-long lesson for him. Attention to his study was earned and it flipped open a new chapter.

His bond with family was strong and he couldn’t stop talking about grandma Dorcas.


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