Akamelu Somtochukwu & Nater Paul Akpen Emerge Winners Of National Travel Essay Competition 2022

Akamelu Somtochukwu of Princeton College, Surulere and Nater Paul Akpen of Benue State University have both emerged as winners at the grand finale of the 11th National Travel Essay Competition (NTEC 2022).

Akamelu Somtochukwu and Nater Paul Akpen emerged winners from a short list of top ten and top five finalists from a pool of entries in the Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions Categories respectively.

The topics for NTEC 2022 include: “Ground Accident Prevention In Air Transportation,” for the Secondary Schools; and “The Role of Biometrics and Mobile Technology on The Future of Air Travel,” for Tertiary Institutions.

The gathering which attracted youths from Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions across the country was part of the Air Transport Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES) organized annually by Travel and Business News (TBN), one of Nigeria’s leading travel trade magazines, held on Saturday May 28, 2022 at the Training Centre of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Annex, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

The theme of the Seminar was: “Securing The Future of Aviation in Nigeria.”

Eminent personalities who graced the occasion and also doubled as members of the Panel of Independent Assessors include: the DG, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu who was represented by Mrs. Oyetoun Adegbesan, Deputy GM, Economic Regulation & Facilitation; the MD, Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO), Mr. Basil Agboarumi who Chaired the occasion and was represented by Mrs. Christie Oseghale, GM, Safety & Quality; the MD, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu who was represented by Mrs. Victoria Shin-Aba, the Regional Manager SW; Ag.MD, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Matthew Pwajok who was represented by Mr. Gabriel Akinlade; and Engr. Ifeanyi Ogochukwu, former GM, ICT, NAMA represented by Ms. Ene Onyeke, Technology Advocate, Debbie Mishael Consulting; among others.

The event also witnessed excellent presentations and robust engagements with students from participating schools delivered by seasoned industry professionals. They comprised of Mr. Adebayo Apapa, a Pilot with DANA Air; Mrs. Victoria Adegbe, a Flight Dispatcher and MD, Aviatrix Hub; Miss Omolola Oladipo, a Cabin Crew also with DANA Air; and Rev. Agbolahor Felix, an Air Traffic Controller.

Following a rigorous session of oral presentations in defense of entries by the finalists in the Secondary Schools Category, Miss Akamelu Somtochukwu of Princeton College, Surulere, Lagos emerged as the grand prize winner of ₦100,000 cash and a free ticket sponsored by DANA Air. Second place went to Bamigbade Aneefah of Murtala Muhammed Airport Secondary School (MMASS), Ikeja with a cash prize of ₦60,000 and a free ticket courtesy of DANA Air; while third place went to Igweonu Praise also of MMASS with a cash prize of ₦40,000.

In the Tertiary Institutions Category, Mr. Nater Paul Akpen of Benue State University, Makurdi came first with a cash prize of ₦150,000 and a free ticket to Nairobi sponsored by Kenya Airways.

Miss Nwafor Merciful of University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus came second with a cash prize of ₦100,000 and a free ticket courtesy of DANA Air; and third place went to Mr. Oyedele Philemon Oluwakyejo, of the University of Ibadan with a cash prize of ₦50,000.

As part of the Youth Empowerment initiative of the forum, Five Training Scholarships in Ticketing & Reservation were also given to young graduates courtesy of Sabre Travel Network West Africa, a foremost travel technology solutions company.

Beneficiaries of the scholarships selected via a raffle draw include Miss Olamide Shobowale, Mrs. Peace Akinsulire, Mrs. Grace Akinwumi, Miss Okosesi Esther, and Mr. Emmanuel Anigbo.

The MD of Aviatrix Hub, Mrs. Victoria Adegbe also offered a Training Scholarship in Flight Dispatch for one student. And through a raffle draw once again, the offer went to Miss Oyedeji Moyinoluwa of Princeton College, Surulere.

Other sponsors of this year’s event include the NCAA, FAAN, NAMA, EgyptAir, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) and OCP International.

The National Travel Essay Competition (NTEC) was established in 2009 with a view to discovering hidden talents and encouraging young Nigerians to follow a career in the aviation and travel & tourism sectors of the economy.

It is also aimed at drumming up greater awareness and support for the air transport industry, and is geared towards RAISING FUTURE AVIATION PROFESSIONALS in an effort to bridge the skills gap and address the challenge of ageing workforce currently being faced in the sector.

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