Travel & Business News (TBN), Nigeria’s leading Air Transport Safety and Security centric Magazine, recently held the 10th Anniversary of its National Travel Essay Competition (NTEC 2019) and Air Transport Youth Empowerment Summit (YES) aimed at encouraging Nigerian youngsters from the grassroots to follow a career in the sector thereby Raising Future Aviation Professionals.
The gathering which was tagged: “Changing History,” attracted youths from Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions across the country and held on Saturday May 25, 2019 at the Training Centre of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Annex, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.
Tracing back the history of the competition, the Founder and National Coordinator of NTEC, Mr. Ewos Iroro, said that: “NTEC is a Future Workforce Development Initiative (FWDI) of Travel & Business News established in 2009 with a view to injecting fresh and ready hands into the sector and establishing a Training Scholarship Trust Fund for winners to support their quest to follow a career in the sector.”
Honourable member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly and Special Guest of Honour at the event, Princess Titilayo Owolabi-Akerele who also chaired the occasion, noted that the writing contest which had a humble beginning has grown over the years and gained wider recognition and interest.
Giving credence to her comments, Mr. Iroro noted that in the past ten years NTEC has succeeded in raising fresh professionals for the sector including Temitope Coker (NTEC 2010) who graduated from University of Lagos and now practicing as a Lawyer with keen interest in Aviation Law; Amina Kabiru Gusau (NTEC 2011), a graduate of Biochemistry from Uthman Danfodio University, Sokoto going for a career in Aeromedicine; Adeola Peace (NTEC 2013) a First Class graduate of Aeronautical Engineering from Shenyang Aerospace University, Liaoning, China; and Karimat Sowemimo (NTEC 2014) currently at the University of North Texas, USA studying Mechanical and Energy Engineering with a strong passion for aviation.
An estimated 1,850 secondary school students have so far participated in the annual contest which holds in six zones of the nation including Abuja, Benin, Kaduna, Ogun, Enugu and Lagos States. Also, in the tertiary institutions category about 200 participants have so far taken part in the contest since the category was introduced in 2014 with more and more interests being shown by students on an annual basis.
The topics chosen for NTEC 2019 were: “The Safety & Security Implications of Drones To Air Transport And Everyday Life,” for Secondary Schools and; “Improving Air Transport Connectivity in Africa: Prospects & Challenges,” for Tertiary Institutions.
Following a robust session of oral assessments before a select Panel of Independent Assessors as the second stage in defense of their written entries, the winners for NTEC 2019 emerged. In the Secondary schools category they include, Olatunji Taiwo Deborah of Holy Saviours College, Isolo, Lagos, who emerged as the Grand Prize Winner of N100,000 cash and a free ticket to Dubai courtesy of EgyptAir.
Second place went to Oladejo Aanuoluwapo of Murtala Muhammed Airport Secondary School (MMASS), Ikeja, and she went home with a cash prize of N60,000 and a free ticket to Accra courtesy of Africa World Airlines (AWA). Igweonu Praise also of Murtala Muhammed Airport Secondary School (MMASS) came third with a cash prize of N40,000.
In the Tertiary Institutions Category, Evans-Ibe Savictor Sobechi, a student of University of Nigeria Nsuka, Enugu State came first and won a cash prize of N150,000 and a free ticket to South Africa sponsored by South African Airways (SAA).
Nwodo Chinwendu Sandra also of University of Nigeria Nsuka, Enugu State came second with a cash prize of N100,000 and a free ticket to Accra sponsored by Africa World Airlines (AWA). The third place went to Nwosu Chiamaka Gloria equally of University of Nigeria Nsuka, Enugu State and she went home with a cash prize of N50,000.
Each of the winners was presented with a copy of the book titled: “The Learned Commander” written by Capt, Dele Ore, which chronicles his life as a pilot and astute aviator. Also, Sabre Travel Network, a foremost travel technology solutions provider also gave out free training scholarships in Ticketing and Reservation to five (5) graduates of tertiary institutions through a raffle draw.
Award recognitions were also presented to the immediate past winners of the contest for serving creditably as ambassadors in the past one year. They include Miss Victory Yinka-Banjo, Winner NTEC 2018 in the Secondary Schools Category; and Miss Mesoma Igbokwe, Winner, NTEC 2018 in the Tertiary Institutions Category.
Entries for NTEC 2019 were assessed by an Independent Panel of Assessors Chaired by Captain Dele Ore, erstwhile Chief Pilot of Nigeria Airways and past President of Aviation Round Table; Mr. Basil Agboarumi, MD, Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO Plc); Mr. Tunji Oketunbi, GM, Public Affairs, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and Mr. Felix Anyanwu, erstwhile AGM, Aerodrome Standards, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Others were Mr. Godbless Ozegbe, Engr. Sheri Kyari and Mr. Olu Ohunayo all erstwhile frontline personnel of Nigeria Airways; as well as Ms. Taiwo Ajisefini, Executive Director, of Taiwo Ajisefini Foundation and current President, Command Secondary School Lagos Alumni.
NTEC 2019 was proudly supported by Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), and Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB). Others are Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO Plc), South African Airways (SAA), EgyptAir, Africa World Airlines (AWA), Sabre Travel Network, and Output Coefficient Proprietaries (OCP) International.
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.