By Gboyega Oni
Maritime stakeholders particularly the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have been charged to consider private maritime training institutions in the production of manpower for the nation’s maritime industry.
The Rector/CEO of Crown Maritime Academy (CMA), Ikeja, Dr. Musa Akinyemi, gave the charge in a speech he delivered during the Passing-out-Parade of the graduating cadets of the Academy held at the school campus in Ogba, Lagos. Commending the contributions of private maritime academies at improving manpower shortage in the industry,
Akinyemi boasted that private maritime training institutions in the country were capable of training Nigerian cadets being trained by their counterparts abroad wondering why NIMASA has not considered them for the training of Nigerian cadets under the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).
“We should give kudos to private maritime academies in Nigeria for their commendable effort in improving the quality of intellectual and physical training of cadets. I believe that we are capable of challenging foreign maritime institutions. Yes, Nigerian private maritime academies are! Therefore, stakeholders in the maritime industry should make it a duty to support the vision, mission and efforts of private maritime academies in the nation,” said Akinyemi.
Ruing lack of ocean-going vessels that could provide a training facilities for cadets after graduating in the country, Akinyemi noted that cadets upon graduation were abandoned by the industry operators and engaged people who have no requisite training and knowledge of the industry, advising that this should stop.
“It is disheartening that the Nigerian maritime industry lacks ocean-going vessels which are inevitable as part of training facilities for cadets after graduating.
“The maritime stakeholders have often left cadets to their own fate. This has made a lot of maritime cadets to get involved in activities that are morally-skewed. When a cadet graduates from an academy, what opportunities are available? Absolutely none, now. This is because the maritime industry is filled with workers that have no attractive background in maritime studies. I think it is time we eradicate such practice and give employment in the maritime industry to maritime graduates and graduating cadets,” said the CMA Rector.
Speaking on various academic initiatives his school has embarked on to further improve training, Akinyemi has this to say “As part of our desire to extend the frontiers of knowledge and interface our nomenclature toward an Independent Enterprise Institution (IEI) with unlimited intellectual connectivity, CMA in May 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Degree Foundation (IDF) under which University Degree courses in both maritime and un-related disciplines could be studied at the Pre-Degree (or A/L) level at our Academy for just one or two year(s) before moving overseas to complete such courses like Marine Engineering, Nautical Science, Mass Communication, Political Science, Law, etc in foreign universities where there are adequate facilities with advanced technology.”
He added that CMA had collaborated with the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre, a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, for its sea training camp.
While speaking at the occasion, Mr. Joel Nwosu, Director General, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), said the nation’s maritime potentials were capable of bringing the nation out of the present economic woe is facing now if well harnessed.
He charged government to provide the necessary policy and infrastructure to move the industry forward, telling the graduating cadets that the industry offers a lot of opportunities for them to operate but challenged government to provide the enabling environment.