ABC of Shipping launch: Expert decries Nigeria’s poor reading Culture
From left: Chairman of the occasion and Managing Director of Czar Properties, Mr. Chiedu Nweke, author of the book, Mr. Charles Okorefe and reviewer of the book and Deputy Comptroller, Enforcement, Nigeria Customs Service, Tin Can Island Command, DC Dera Nnadi at the official presentation of the book: ABC of Shipping and Ports Operation, held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island Lagos, yesterday.
BY FRANCIS EZEM
History was made in Lagos Thursday, when the book: ‘ABC of Shipping and Ports Operation in Nigeria’ was officially unveiled and presented to members of the public at an event that turned out to be who’s who in Nigeria’s maritime industry, the academia, real estate industry and the entire corporate world.
Chairman of the occasion, who is also Managing Director of Czar Properties Limited, Mr. Chiedu Nweke, while making an opening remark, observed that there is an alarming rate of poor culture of reading in the country, which he also believed was not good enough.
According to him, these days hardly does one sees any parent that buys books as gifts for their children and wards, arguing that typical Nigerian parents when coming back from work would branch at an eatery or supermarkets to buy fast foods, ice creams and other assorted drinks, leaving out books, novels and other literature materials that would actually help in shaping the career future of the children.
This, he argued is a sharp contrast to what was obtained in the past when the reading culture was high, when the children would even spend their little upkeep allowances to buy books and novels and when parents would also encourage their children and wards to read, which is partly responsible for the high academic standards obtained in those days.
The Czar Properties-boss also noted that the advent of and the explosion of social media has helped to worsen the situation, as children and youths these days glue their eyes to the various social media platforms and block their ears with earpieces listening to one form of music or the other instead of gluing their eyes and ears to their books.
He therefore called on the relevant government agencies, religious and cultural institutions as well as parents to begin to encourage the culture of reading in the country with a view to boosting not only the falling standards of education in the country but also knowledge acquisition.
He commended the author of the book, Mr. Charles Okorefe, who is currently a lecturer at the Certified Institute of Shipping CIS for his efforts at bridging the knowledge gap in the country by putting down his thoughts and experiences down in a book for generations to read and benefit from.
The author had in his welcome remarks, said that the decision to write the book was informed by his desire to bridge the wide knowledge gap in the country and also to demystify the seeming esoteric inclinations towards the activities of the shipping and maritime industry, which makes many people oblivious of how the system works.
He argued that a clear understanding of the workings of the port system was crucial to the growth and development of the nation’s economy, since the seaports represent the gateway to the nation’s economy.
The book reviewer, who is also Deputy Comptroller in charge of Enforcement of the Nigeria Customs Service, Tin Can Island Command, DC Dera Nnadi in the review of the book, said it was written in very simple language devoid of shipping jargons and clichés, which makes it beneficial to non- maritime operators.
He also noted that written in lucid and simple English language, the author took out time to explain certain maritime terminologies that are used every day by operators without knowing the full meaning and other applications of such terminologies, a development that also makes the book a must read even for maritime technocrats.
Other dignitaries at the event include Chairman of Ports Consultative Council PCC, Otunba Kunle Folarin, who was the guest lecturer, His Royal Highness, Eze Steve Dike, Eze Ndi Igbo of Igandu, who was also a shipping magnet before his stint into the traditional institution, Registrar of the CIS, Rev. Alex Okwuashi and representatives of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria MWUN, among several others.