Stakeholders in the nation’s maritime industry have described the late Engr. Olu Akinsoji, a former Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, Akwa Ibom State, who died on the 16th of January 2024 at the age of 79 as a patriotic Nigerian who dedicated his lifetime to the growth of the maritime industry
The industry day of tributes in honour of the late MAN Oron Rector resonated with heartfelt memories and praises from esteemed maritime stakeholders.
The sentiments shared painted a vivid picture of a man whose impact extended far beyond his professional achievements.
Speaking at the day of tribute held in his honour on Tuesday, a former Minister of Interior, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, took the stage to recount Engr. Akinsoji’s prowess, stating, “Olu was a very good engineer. Olu was a good man as a man, but as an engineer, he was mean.” Capt. Ihenacho highlighted
Iheanacho emphasized Engr. Akinsoji’s remarkable journey, from serving as a ship service to reaching the pinnacle of the Government Inspector of Shipping; regulating technical standards on ships.
The Master Mariner emphasized Engr. Akinsoji’s unwavering commitment and social prowess, describing him as a “faithful ally” who effortlessly made friends and addressed social challenges.
Speaking also, the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr Bashir Jamoh who was represented by the Assistant Director, Public Relations of NIMASA; Mr Osagie Edward expressed deep sense of sadness on the death of Engr. Akinsoji
He described Akinsojii as a patriotic Nigeria, consummate professional and a maritime expert who was committed to the growth and development of the Nigerian maritime industry.
He emphasized Akinsoji’s role as a former Alternate Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organisation (APR-IMO) and his significant contributions as the former Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron.
“He dedicated almost his entire life to making his contributions towards a virile maritime industry for Nigeria.
“As a former Alternate Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organisation (APR-IMO), former Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron and a distinguished member of the Association of Master Mariners, Engr Akinsoji’s contributions to the industry will always stand the test of time.
“His passage is therefore not only a major loss to his family, but to Nigeria as a whole and the maritime industry in particular” he said.
On her part, Mrs. Chinwe Ezenwa, Managing Director of LeLook, shared a personal connection, describing Engr. Olu as a mentor who played a pivotal role in her career.
She highlighted his support in setting up a maritime consulting firm and expressed concern about the diminishing art of mentoring in the industry.
Ezenwa underscored the irreplaceable nature of human thought in mentorship and celebrated Akinsoji’s simplicity, knowledge, and humility.
She said: “Engr. Olu really meant a lot to me and he really helped my life because to set up a maritime consulting firm at retirement was not easy for me.
“But holding my hand meant any challenge you will have in that process, I’ll be there with you. Anything at all you want me to do, I’ll be there with you.
“And he was there with me. I got a job with NIMASA to do something; to do some audit research. He was there with me. We travelled to Portsmouth in England together. On our official assignment. He was there with me. On the phone. He’s there with me” she said
In attendance were: Former Minister of Interior, Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho, BOT Chairman of NISA, Chief Isaac Jolapomo, Chidi Illogu, SAN, Jean Chiazor Anishere SAN, and former President of NAGAFF , Dr. Eugene Nweke.
Also, representatives of the Association of Marine Engineers (AMES), led by its President Engr. Israel Obadan, former Director General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Ify Akerele, Maritime Lawyer, Barr. Osuala Nwagbara, President of Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, Captain Tajudeen Alao, Captain Ihenacho Ebubeogu, Sunday Umoren, Secretary of Abuja MoU, Bolaji Sunmola, Chairman Port Consultative Council (PCC) , representative of SIFAX Group led by Captain Ibrahim Olugbade and Rear Admiral Goodswill Ombu (Rtd).
Others are: Ms. Funmi Folorunsho, Adegboyega Olopoenia CEO Massc Global Marine Limited, Engr. Michael Sese Atina, Chaplain Mission to Seafarers, Cannon Bimbo Aduroja, Asst Chaplain, Mission to Seafarers, Rev. Emmanuel Ilori, Captain Adewale Ishola , Image maker, NIMASA, Mr. Osagie Edwards, members of the Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association NMNOWTSSA led by the Vice National President (Shipping), Engr. Wale George.