What Sylvanus Obasi Told Maritime Stakeholders About 10 Years Journey of Platforms Communications


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It’s my honour to warmly welcome you once again to the Annual Maritime Students And Youth Conference, also known as ‘A Day With Nigerian Maritime Students’. This year, 2024 and this edition of AMSAY Conference is unique and special to us as it coincides with the 10th Anniversary of Platforms Communications. So we have gathered today basically to celebrate two important occasions: first the 2024 edition of the Annual Maritime Students And Youth Conference, and second, the 10th Anniversary of Platforms Communications. 

In view of this, you will agree with me that it’s therefore imperative that I  begin this opening address by taking us through memory lane on how these two events came about. But for want of time, today, I will dwell a little on the 10 years journey of Platforms Communications, while I leave the journey of AMSAY Conference till next two year when we shall be marking 10th anniversary of the brand.  

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen! The journey of Platforms Communications started precisely on May 24, 2014 when we birthed our flagship brand, MARITIME PLATFORM, a 30 minutes audience-participatory radio program where major maritime news and topical maritime issues were extensively discussed by maritime professionals who were featured as Guests on the program. Realising that airtime is limited and easily exhausted, a year afterwards, particularly on first of June 2015, we created PLATFORM REPORTERS News website, an online news platform where we publish daily news stories and interviews that time could not allow us exhaust on radio. 

As a fully-fledged media company with online and on-air news platforms, we interviewed a lot of industry practitioners to properly understand the industry and its prospects and challenges. We were also regularly invited to cover and report news events in the maritime sector, and during such occasions, we listened carefully to issues being discussed not just with a mindset of reporting, but with a mindset of seeing areas we could play a role towards contributing our quota for the development of the sector. This mindset and approach made us adopt developmental journalism as a practice. 

In practising developmental journalism as a media outfit, we understood that our country is still developing and is bound to face all the challenges associated with a developing nation. Hence, we decided not to use our news reports to always attack government agencies and institutions for their shortcomings and failures like most of our colleagues do, but to identify areas that we could assist or collaborate government establishments and other stakeholder groups in tackling some of the developmental challenges facing our sector.  As a result of this, we have moved from just reporting the issues to tackling the issues in the maritime sector. It is on this premise that most of our brands were created to add value to the sector by addressing one problem or the other for the good of the Nigerian maritime industry.

For a practical example, the occasion of today, the AMSAY Conference was created as an advocacy platform and a succession plan program designed to bring to the front burner the issues affecting Nigerian maritime students, cadets and young maritime professionals as future leaders and successors of the industry with a view to proferring lasting solutions. But beyond this primary objective, AMSAY Conference has also become a platform of opportunities for many maritime students as captured in the students testimonials published in pages 9-11 of our brochure. 

The Maritime Career Mentorship Programme (M-CAMP) which is an offshoot of AMSAY Conference is serving the mentoring needs of the industry. While the Face Of Maritime International (FOMI) and Girls Go-To-Sea Campaign Initiative are both created to bridge the gender gap in the sector through women empowerment and gender inclusivity campaigns. This is even as our newest brand, the Nigeria Maritime Ambassadors (NIMA) Reality TV Show aims at youth empowerment while also harnessing the skills and talents of our youths towards championing Cleaner Oceans and Greener Port Campaigns in line with IMO’s Marine Environment Sustainability Initiative. 

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the 10 years journey of Platforms Communications can be likened to the story of a man with mean resources, but huge appetite to make great impacts in his society.  It is either he sinks due to his lean resources or he survives due to his passion to make positive changes.  For the past 10 years and despite the odds we did not sink, rather we have managed to survive and the evidence of our survival is well captured in the array of brands and achievements we have recorded in the industry which is eminently published in pages 30-48 of the Brochure. However, it’s worthy to mention that our survival is neither by our power or passion nor by our sheer determination to survive, but by the grace and mercy of the Almighty God, the Provider, the Source and the Giver of every thing good through His Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit whom I know and love personally as the third person of the Holy Trinity.  

Our survival is also made possible through the support and help of some individuals and organisations at one point or the other in our ten years journey.  Some of them got attracted to us through the uniqueness and innovative nature of our brands which appealed to their interests. Time may not permit me to mention them one after another, but to underscore how much we value their support over the years, we have dedicated page 48 of the brochure where we published their names as a way of showing gratitude for the vital roles they played in our ten years journey.  We cannot but say: Thank you one, thank you all. May God bless and keep you all for us!

And now to the business of the day, the theme of 2024 AMSAY Conference says it all. Aptly captured in the Lead and sole Paper Presentation topic of the day entitled, “Exploring Holistic Approach Towards Solving the Challenges of Nigerian Maritime Students/Cadets”, our objective today is to identify, highlight and proffer lasting solutions to the myraids of challenges facing seafaring and non-seafaring maritime students as future leaders of the sector. Good enough, we have a new government at the centre, a brand new ministry of Marine and Blue Economy and a brand new NIMASA DG. We can only hope that they listen and do the needful for the good of all.

On this note, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I warmly welcome you to 2024 AMSAY Conference and 10th Anniversary of Platforms Communications! I welcome and appreciate all our Resource Persons who left their very busy schedules to be with us and allow maritime students tap from their wealth of experience once again. I welcome and appreciate all maritime schools and students who have come from far and near to be part of this year’s Conference. In no small measures, I also welcome and appreciate all our partners, supporters and volunteers of AMSAY Conference whose support in one way or the other made today’s occasion a reality. 

Like a vessel manned by a competent captain and crew, I have no doubt that our competent chairman of occasion, our erudite guest speakers, moderators, discussants and other resource persons will do justice to the theme and topic of our today’s Conference. I therefore urge all students to listen attentively and participate actively so that at the end of the day, you will leave here better informed, super motivated and ready to achieve your goals and become the best you can be. May God Almighty bless every one of us and grant all our good desires as we discuss a better future for our youth. Once again, congratulations to Platforms Communications at 10! And many thanks to every one of you seated in this hall to honour our invitation. Please feel welcome as always, and may God bless you all.

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