The Chairman of Starz Investments Company limited, Greg Ogbeifun, says poor funding of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron is one of the challenges of maritime capacity development in Nigeria.
Ogbeifun said that Nigeria’s only internationally- recognised maritime institution, MAN, Oron had been limited due to poor funding and other challenges that it only admits about 200 cadets and train them up to Ordinary National Diploma, OND.
Ogbeifun, a former chairman of the Nigerian Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) said the demise of the Nigeria National Shipping Line (NNSL) also contributed to the capacity gap being experienced in the country.
He said, “We now see that since the liquidation of this shipping line many years ago, the disappearance of the fleet of vessels that provided sea- time training opportunities and cadets’ training in Nigeria, had led to a huge gap in the maritime human capacity development in Nigeria.”
He pointed out that there was no articulated programme to ensure the effective liaison between the training institutions and the existing fleet of vessels in the country’s maritime domain.
He also said that before the demise of the NNSL, MAN, Oron provided pre-sea school opportunities for cadets engaged by the national shipping line.
“Cadets from the academy were automatically exposed to a 12 month mandatory sea-time onboard the various vessels operated by the NNSL and this gave birth to well seasoned professionals who have been manning sensitive positions in the maritime industry.”
Ogbeifun faulted the Federal Government’s training of seafarers abroad, adding that training of seafarers and cadets is the responsibility of ship owners and shipping companies.
“I say this because in every other part of the world, seafarers’ training, including cadetship training, is primarily the responsibility of shipowners and shipping companies.
“This is precisely because after the training, the seafarers tend to work for the shipowners and the shipping companies for their commercial benefits and are identified with the company training them,” he stated.
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