Three Nigerian universities – Bowen University, Iwo; University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Ekiti State University (EKSU) recently emerged as the winners of the Maritime Blueprint Competition sponsored by SIFAX Group.
Law students from six universities in the country participated in the competition which was one of the activities of the 2018 Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime Conference held at the University of Lagos, Lagos. The conference was in partnership with the Maritime Forum of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos.
According to SIFAX Group, at the end of the keenly-contested competition, which used a debate format, Bowen University, Iwo, represented by Adekeye Olanrewaju and Dunmade Samuel emerged the overall winner with 85 points while University of Lagos represented by Pius Bankong and Ipinnuoluwa Ade-Ademi and Ekiti State University by Durola Ayobami Tosin and Oyewole Sunday came second and third respectively with 81 and 78 points. Other schools that participated were University of Benin, University of Ilorin and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
The first round of debate was on the merits and demerits of foreign direct investments in the maritime sector. The final round of the debate was on the topic “Port Costs & Port Charges: A Recurring Decimal Under Port Reform Regime.”
Mouth-watering prizes including laptops, smart phones and cash were given to the winners.
Speaking on the competition, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, said the need to deepen the knowledge base of the law students and to stimulate their interest in the country’s maritime industry were responsible for the company’s sponsorship of the competition.
“We don’t have enough maritime legal experts in the industry as I speak to you. Very few students also show interests in the legal aspect of the sector. Having identified this, the company decided to take up the sponsorship of the competition.
“We believe that this gesture would go a long way in stimulating interest of students in maritime law. I am personally leading the mentorship charge because as a lawyer, I have experienced firsthand the many opportunities inherent in the application of law to the maritime sector.
“We are also doing this because at SIFAX Group, it’s part of our corporate philosophy to positively affect the society,” he said.