WATCH: Jobless Nigerian Man Narrates How He Rose to Become a Marine Officer in Dubai

A once jobless Nigerian man, Philips Michael, has shared the inspiring journey of how he rose to become a Marine officer in Dubai, UAE.


In an interview with the Gulf News, Philips said when he landed in Dubai in 2013, the only skill that he could offer for a job was swimming.


As he was growing up in Nigeria, he simply picked up that expertise on the side without any formal training. He had no idea that it would lead to a new beginning for him in Dubai. After ten years, he is currently a marine officer with World Security, a DP World business that offers security solutions for a variety of companies in the United Arab Emirates.


Philips was raised in a rural location where the main industries were agriculture, logging, and fishing. After school, he used to help his father, who was a lumber dealer, with the family business. Philips is an Ijaw and a member of the Arogbo tribe from Ondo, a state on Nigeria’s southwest coast.


He intended to concentrate on playing football after high school. However, there were financial difficulties because his father was unable to carry the entire load himself. Philips also began to assume responsibility and he desired to emigrate in quest of better opportunities.


At that point, Philips was introduced to his friend who works in the UAE by his uncle Love Torulolo. Philips took a flight from Lagos to Dubai with the intention of staying just two weeks. In January 2013 it happened.


“The moment I landed, my mind changed. I said I am not going back anytime soon. It was a completely different environment here. The road networks, the metro. It was so impressive. I called my uncle back home and told him: I’d like to stay back,” he said.


Philips enquired around about the process to get a job here, exited the country, and came back on a one-month visa. He got a lot of support and advice from the community here.


“When I told them where I came from, someone asked me if I know how to swim. They said, okay make a CV for a lifeguard position. I had absolutely no idea what the job of a lifeguard was. I had no training in swimming either. I was just a natural swimmer,” Philips said.


However, he made the CV and started dropping it randomly at different places. His friends were also helping him to find a job. He got offers from three places- World Security and two other companies.


He picked up World Security because the salary offered was better and they promoted sporting activities. His trust proved to be in the right place and he never had to look for opportunity anywhere else. And World Security provided him with training and support to further his ambitions.


“When I joined as a lifeguard with zero experience, the company sent me for training at American Red Cross. I got my certificate and started on the job,” Philips said.


He started living his dream. Not long after, an internal vacancy was advertised. It was for the marine crew. He applied for it and was elected for the position Philip was then deployed and given on-the-job training by the company.


As a marine crew, his job involved protecting the lives and property in the area and safeguarding the waterways, as well as controlling and managing access and preventing any illegal activities, for different clients.


As the marine crew, we were positioned in one place, our officers are the ones who go around and patrol the area,” he said.


Philips worked as a marine crew member for about two years. As the job became interesting, he decided to take a boat driver’s license. He passed it and in 2016, he became a boat driver.


“I was always ambitious and wanted to advance my career further. I did some courses, in fitness training, and fire safety to improve my chances and competency. In 2019, I became Marine Office,” Philips said.


“Everything is in the hands of God. My next aim is to use my experience back home when I go back to my home country and establish a water sports and cruise company. That is my goal,” Philips says.


“I would like to take this opportunity to appreciate Akhilesh Nair, Head of Security Operation, Word Security, and Hamda Ateeq Rashed Harem Al Dhaheri, Head of QHSE, World Security, for their leadership, support, and continuing inspiration in my job,” Philips said.


“I should also thank World Security marine operation in charge Kalfan Sultan for believing in me. At first, he was a bit skeptical about me. Still, he gave me a chance to be part of his team,” he said.


Philips has a wife and three daughters living back home in Nigeria.




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