Halim Blessing Wins Travel Essay Competition | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Halim Blessing Wins Travel Essay Competition

Posted: Jul 6, 2015 at 12:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Sam Anokam Lagos

Halim Blessing has emerged winner of the 6th Caverton Helicopters/Travel & Business News National Travel Essay Competition (NTEC 2014/15) and 5th Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES).

Capt Choms And Halim Blessing

Capt Choms And Halim Blessing

It was gathered that Halim Blessing of Princeton College, Surulere who came first in the Secondary Schools Category was followed by Kyllians Emmanuella of Murtala Muhammed Airport Secondary School (MMASS), Ikeja while Afolabi Oluwapelumi also of MMASS came third.

Over 50 entries were received in all and the top 10 students were invited to the Grand Finale to compete for top honours through a session of oral assessments in defence of their written articles.

The annual event which has come to be a regular feature in the aviation industry calendar, is geared towards fulfilling the aspirations of the Nigerian Local Content Initiative in an effort to bridge the skills gap and manpower shortage in the air transport sector; an initiative that is close to the heart of Caverton’s vision of building a professionally run Nigerian Company, by Nigerians and with Nigeria in mind. Hence the apt theme of the event: “Empowering The Next Generation of Aviation Professionals.”

The grand finale of the industry writing contest which held at the Training Centre of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Annex, Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos on May 23, brought to a climax a six-month long process of entries being sent in by interested participants from Secondary Schools and Tertiary Institutions to compete for laurels in two separate categories. The topic for the Secondary Schools Category was; “Airport Development As A Stimulus For Economic Growth,” while that for Tertiary Institutions was; “Encouraging More Women Into Helicopter Aviation.”

Blessing, went home with a free ticket to Dubai courtesy of EgyptAir; plus a cash prize of N100,000. She also becomes the Industry Ambassador for the next one year and will participate in key industry programmes as well as carry out several youth centred functions. Second prize was N60,000 cash and a free return ticket to Ghana sponsored by Africa World Airlines (AWA); and the 3rd prize was a cash prize of N40,000 as well as a free return ticket to any destination nationwide sponsored by DANA Air.

There were also cash prizes of N20,000 each for 4th – 6th positions and N10,000 each for 7th – 10th positions. EgyptAir also presented Special Discount Return Tickets to all of the remaining Finalists and members of their families to any destination on the airline’s network.

In the Tertiary Institutions Category, First prize winner, Eyiaro Mary went home with a cash prize of N150,000 cash and an all expenses paid trip to South Africa courtesy of African Business Travel Association (ABTA). The second prize was N100,000 cash with a free ticket to Ghana also courtesy of Africa World Airlines (AWA). Third prize was N50,000 cash prize and a free ticket to any destination in Nigeria sponsored by DANA Air. The highpoint of the event came when the MD of Caverton Helicopters, Capt. Choms, announced a free helicopter flight experience for top winners of the contest in the company of two teachers and organisers of the event.

Capt Choms with Ewos Iroro and winners

Capt Choms with Ewos Iroro and winners

Chairman of the occasion, Elder Gbenga Olowo, opened the forum with passionate remarks by reminiscing on his days as a youngster and telling his story of how he was selected from a vast number of candidates and given an opportunity by Lufthansa German Airlines to follow a career in the travel industry.

Speaking on the theme, Capt. Josiah Choms, MD, Caverton Helicopters, noted that Caverton Helicopters is a firm advocate of the age long principle of “Catching Them Young.” He noted that training of its personnel, with strong emphasis on the younger generation, is at the forefront of Caverton’s vision of being a first rate Nigerian Company offering the best quality of services to its clients in the Oil & gas and Air Transport sectors. He also used the forum to celebrate the company’s young stars that were trained and have achieved rare feats including the Youngest Female Helicopter Pilot, the Youngest Male Pilot and its Deputy Chief Pilot who all happen to be young Nigerians as well as its crop of young engineers. “In 2014 alone, we trained 13 Caverton Helicopter Engineers,” said Capt. Choms.

Founder and Coordinator of NTEC, Mr. Ewos Iroro, said: “Over the years, NTEC has succeeded in stimulating the interests of many young Nigerians for the air transport industry by engaging them through the writing contest as well as several schools outreach programmes and field trips.” He added that in line with the objectives of establishing the writing contest and youth empowerment forum, several of its past winners are now studying to follow a career in aviation notably Miss Peace Adeola, Winner, NTEC 2012/13 currently in China and Miss Karima Sowemimo, Winner, NTEC 2013/14, due to leave for the United States with both of them studying to become Aeronautical Engineers.

Mrs. Titi Osimboni, Deputy Head, Resource Management, Caverton Helicopters was presented with an award by the organisers in recognition of her unflinching support for the success of the contest and the overall hosting of the event.  Immediate past Winners of the competition were also presented with awards of recognition for being worthy ambassadors for the past one year. They include Miss Karimat Sowemimo, Winner, NTEC 2013/14 in the Secondary Schools Category and Miss Temitope Coker, Winner NTEC 2013/14 in the Tertiary Institutions Category.

Several high profile guests graced the occasion with their presenceThe event was in line with its philosophy of Raising Future Aviation Professionals. The National Travel Essay Competition (NTEC) is a Future Workforce Development Initiative (FWDI) of Travel & Business News. The 2015/2016 edition of the contest is scheduled to open on October 5, 2015.