Nigeria’s Capt. Kunle Olayiwola has been decorated as a Chartered Master Mariner, making him the first African to achieve the feat.
Retired Commodore Duncan Lamb, Chairman of the Registration Authority, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
The award is a recognition given to individuals who have reached the highest level of professional certification in the maritime industry.
Capt Olayiwola, who is also a Fellow of the Nautical Institute, was decorated at the Chartered Master Mariners Annual Award and Alumni event held in London.
Speaking at the event, Lamb said the award was a recognition given to individuals who had reached the highest level of professional certification in the maritime industry.
According to him, the award is usually presented annually, to acknowledge outstanding achievements, contributions, or leadership in the maritime field.
He added that the Chartered Master Mariner must be an experienced and highly skilled mariner, who had demonstrated expertise in ship navigation, safety, and management.
Lamb said the Chartership scheme was launched in 2017 after gaining Privy Council approval.
“The scheme is a collaboration between the Honourable Company and the Nautical Institute with technical input from the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.
“The initiative recognises dedication, commitment and professional excellence among Merchant Navy Master Mariners and their military equivalents, above and beyond the award of certificates of competence,” he said.
He noted that chartership raises the profile of maritime specialists across the globe with members as far afield as New Zealand and the Indian sub-continent.
“As well as recognising achievement, I consider this award as a mechanism to encourage the elite in our industry to engage in an exciting future and to safeguard high professional standards during a period of technical and structural change within the industry,” he said.
The alumni event, associated with the Chartered Master Mariner Annual Award, brings together individuals who have previously received this honor to inspire the younger generation of mariners.
Captain Olayiwola was in the Nigerian Navy for over a decade before switching into merchant navy, after he voluntarily retired from the Navy. He sailed on many types of ships and worked as District Surveyor, Zonal Coordinator and Head of Enforcement Monitoring Unit, in Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
Apart from being the first Fellow of The Nautical Institute in Africa, he also has to his credit Master of International Law, from World Maritime University, Malmo Sweden.