A onetime sole administrator to the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron Engr. Olu Akinsoji has cast aspersion on the Nigeria Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA),
In an exclusive chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in Lagos last week, Akinsoji said the programme was “simply a waste of resources”.
Akinsoji who is Nigeria’s first Alternate Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and a former Government Inspector of Shipping (GIS), said the NSDP cadets were sent abroad on a basic course that could be taught at MAN Oron.
He said, “The way they presently run the program was not the reason why the programme was created in the first instance.
“When NIMASA was conceptualizing this idea, the intention was to strengthen the academy and if possible the academy should invite foreign professionals to help strengthen it.
“I suggested to the DG then that we can invite two or three foreign lecturers like I did before I left the academy where Polish government were about to send us three professors and we already had government approval.
“Then, I thought NIMASA will assist the academy to partner the training in a manner that will strengthen the academy but we found out that instead of strengthening the academy, they send them to Europe to do the basic courses of which the academy was established.”
Akinsoji, who claimed to have been jolted by the decision to send the NSDP cadets abroad for training, said he played a role in setting up the scheme at the initial stage.
“When a former DG of NIMASA discussed the NSDP programme with me, I suggested to him that he should involve the coastal states in training because it is my believe that every Ministry of Transport in the coastal states require good knowledge of marine transport because a greater numbers of their citizens depend on marine transportation and accidents happen in those area because of the limit of knowledge of the various Ministries of Transport on marine transportation.
“We discussed this but what I found was that when he was putting action to paper on this discussion they decided to send the cadets to Europe and not strengthens MAN Oron but that was not the intention,” the acting Chairman of the Society of Nigerian Mariners added.
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