Princess Titilayo Owolabi-Akerele, Honourable Member, Ekiti State House of Assembly (4th Right); Capt. Dapo Williams, Safety Inspector, NCAA (4th Left); Capt. Dele Ore, Chairman, Panel of Assessors (3rd Left); Mr. Hafeez Balogun, Country Manager, Kenya Airways (3rd Right); Alhaji Yahaya Gusau, GM, AIS, NAMA (2nd Left); Engr. Ifeanyi Ogochukwu, former GM-ICT, NAMA (2nd Right); Mr. Tunji Oketunbi, GM, Pubic Affairs, AIB (1st Right); and Mr. Ewos Iroro, Founder, NTEC (1st Left). 

The Grand Finale of the 8th National Travel Essay Competition (NTEC) and Air Transport Youth Empowerment Seminar (NTEC 2017) held on Saturday May 27, 2017 at the Training Centre of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Annex, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria. The epoch making event which has grown to become a regular feature on the annual aviation industry calendar had as its theme: Raising Future Giants for the Air Travel Sector.”
Daikpor Edeseimi Immaculata,
Winner, NTEC 2017
Secondary Schools Category

Founder and National Coordinator of NTEC, Mr. Ewos Iroro, said that over the years, the National Travel Essay Competition has succeeded in stimulating the interests of many young Nigerians for the Air Transport Industry by engaging them through the writing contest as well as several school outreach programmes and field trips. He added that in line with the objectives of establishing the writing contest and youth empowerment forum, several of its past winners are currently studying to follow a career in various fields of endeavour in the aviation industry.
In line with the theme of NTEC 2017, the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Muhtar Usman, who was represented by Capt. Dapo Williams, a Safety Inspector, stressed that:Competitions like this should be regular and sustained through active support by government, corporate organizations and well meaning Nigerians to bring the best out of our youthsand assured that the Authority will not hesitate to render their support in any way possible to keep this dream alive.”
He noted further that: “The future will be brighter for air transport if we introduce fascinating reach out programmes that can attract the younger ones into the profession. Such programmes will perhaps shape their mentality as well as stimulate their interest in making a career in aviation.”
The Honourable Member of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Princess Titilayo Owolabi-Akerele, was the Special Guest of Honour at the event.  She encouraged the students and youths to brace up to the task of being solution providers in the aviation sector and to become giants in the industry, adding that the sector offers many opportunities for greater exposure and travel around the world with the added satisfaction of being an agent of change at a time when the sector greatly needs fresh hands to take over from an ageing workforce.
(R-L) Mrs. Elidoni Okpeta, Sales Officer, SAA; Miss Lawson Peace, Winner
NTEC 2017 (Tertiary Institutions Category); Mrs. Stella Aghedo, Sales Officer, 
SAA; and Mr. Ewos Iroro, Founder, NTEC
NTEC 2017 Grand Finale brought to a climax a six-month long period of submission of entries by interested participants in two categories drawn for Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions. The essay topic for Secondary Schhols was: “Curbing Cyber Crime And Identity Theft In Air Travel Transactions,” while that for Tertiary Institutions was: “Promoting Customer Service Excellence In The Travel & Tourism Sectors.”
Entries were assessed by an Independent Panel of Assessors Chaired by Captain Dele Ore, erstwhile President of Aviation Round Table. Others include Mrs. Modupe Oyerinde, GM, Commercial & Statistics, NCAA; Mrs. Fola Akande, Chief Air Transport Officer, NCAA; Mr. Basil Agboarumi, GM, Corporate Communications, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL); Alhaji Yahaya Gusau, GM, Aeronautical Information Services, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA); Mr. Tunji Oketunbi, GM, Public Affairs, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and Engr. Ifeanyi Ogochukwu, erstwhile, GM, ICT, NAMA who made constructive criticisms based on their assessment of the quality of participant’s write-up and oral defense.
Capt. Dele Ore, Chairman, Panel of Assessors, congratulates
Obianwu Vivian, 2nd Prize Winner, NTEC 2017; as 
Mr. Ewos Iroro watches in admiration 
NTEC 2017 was particularly unique in the quality of entries received. After a closely contested round of oral presentations in defense of their entries, winners were announced. In the Secondary schools category, Miss Daikpor Edeseimi Immaculata of International School (UNILAG) Lagos, emerged as the Grand Prize Winner of N100,000 cash and a free ticket to Dubai courtesy of EgyptAir. International School Lagos was the pioneer winners of the contest in 2010 and has been runners up for the last six editions until now.
The second place went to Obianwu Ofunneka Vivian of His Grace Academy, Olambe, Ogun State, and she went with a cash prize of N60,000 and a free ticket to Accra courtesy of Africa World Airlines (AWA). Yinka-Banjo Victory of Princeton College, Surulere, Lagos came third and won a cash prize of N40,000 and a free ticket to any destination in Nigeria courtesy of DANA Air.
(L-R) Capt Dele Ore, Yinka-Banjo Victory, 3rd Place Winner, 
NTEC 2017; and Mr. Ewos Iroro

In the Tertiary Institutions Category, Miss Lawson Peace Jesulayomi, a student of University of Lagos came first having competed in this category for four straight years and emerging as a runner-up on three of those occasions. She won a cash prize of N150,000 and a free ticket to South Africa sponsored by SAA.

Iheme Thelma Chinenye of Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State came second with a cash prize of N100,000 and a free ticket to Accra sponsored by AWA. The third place went to Kyllians Emmanuella of Alcorn State University, Mississippi, USA and she went home with a cash prize of N50,000 and a free ticket to any destination in Nigeria on the wings of DANA Air. 
Hon. Princess Titilayo Owolabi-Akerele, Member, Ekiti State
House of Assembly rejoices with Otti Faustina, Winner, 
NTEC 2016, handing over to Daikpor Immaculata, Winner,
NTEC 2017, as Mr. Ewos Iroro watches on 

Earlier, Mr Afeez Balogun, Country Manager, Kenya Airways charged up the minds of the youth by encouraging them with his success story and rise to domination from his little beginning of entering into the industry as a ticketing officer to being director and manager for other renowned aviation companies like Rwand Air and Kenya Airways. He spoke of passion and drive to see the industry grow, he also challenged the youths to be determined in pursuing and actualizing their goals and dreams irrespective of the challenges they face in the success race.

Engineer Ifeanyi Ogochukwu an invited guest spoke on cyber-crime, highlighted the latest trend of crime that is surfacing the African travel space, taking the continent in shock and attracting the focus of industry practitioners from not only issues of terrorism and security but also of virtual crime (in the form of Malware, system hacking and other aircraft system virus entry) which is particularly a major cause of air crash and system damage in the continent today. The specialist canvassed for more of funding, research and discussion to be put in place to tackle this menace. 
Otti Faustina, Winner, NTEC 2016, with her mother and elder 
sister sharing in her achievement with Mr. Ewos Iroro joining
in the celebration
Other highlights include awards and book presentations to the essay competition winners which were donated by Mr. Peter Adeola, the parent of NTEC 2013 Winner, Miss Peace Adeola, and was presented by his eldest daughter, Precious Adeola as part of his contribution to the success of the event. Also, Sabre Travel Network, a foremost travel technology solutions provider also gave out free training scholarships to five graduates of tertiary institutions through a raffle draw.
There were also award recognitions for the immediate past winners of the contest for serving creditably as ambassadors in the past one year. They include Miss Otti Faustina, Winner NTEC 2016 in the Secondary Schools Category; and Mr. Oladipupo Epemolu, Winner, NTEC 2016 in the Tertiary Institutions Category.
NTEC 2017 was proudly supported by Bristow Helicopters, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), and Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB). Others are South African Airways (SAA), EgyptAir, Africa World Airlines (AWA), Kenya Airways, DANA Air, Sabre Travel Network, and Output Coefficient Proprietaries (OCP) International.  
Ewos Iroro (M) with top winners of NTEC 2017. (R-L) Lawson Peace, 
1st Place Winner, (Tertiary Category); Iheme Thelma, 2nd Place Winner 
(Tertiary Category); Daikpor Immaculata, Winner, 1st Place Winner 
(Secondary Category); Obianwu Ofunneka, 2nd Place Winner (Secondary
Category); Kyllians Emmanuella, 3rd Place Winner (Tertiary Category);
and Yinka-Banjo Victory, 3rd Place Winner (Secondary Category)

The National Travel Essay Competition is a Future Workforce Development Initiative (FWDI) of Travel & Business News that is aimed at discovering hidden talents and encouraging young Nigerians to follow a career in the aviation and travel & tourism sectors. Its goal is to drum up greater awareness and support for the air transport industry and is geared towards Raising Future Aviation Professionals in an effort to address the challenges of ageing workforce and skilled manpower shortage in the sector. 

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  1. I cannot but notice the consistency of 'the Ladies' in this competition since its inception. I would not be surprised to see them at the forefront of the nation's aviation industry in years to come. Kudos to Mr Ewos Iroro and the airlines for their committment to this worthy cause.

  2. To God be the glory. I congratulate the winners and Mr. Iroro. It was wonderful those that were not there missed a lot. Mr. Iroro keep the flag flying.

    • Dear Sir/Madam, thank so much for your kind comments. We shall continue to do our best not only to keep the flag flying but to also raise the bar even further. However, it would have been nice to know you as you did not include your name or organisation in your comments. Hope to hear from you again.

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