Kponu made this known to members of the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN) in Oron, Akwa Ibom, on Tuesday after a tour of the academy.
He said that many cadets, who had completed their courses in the academy, did not have sea time exposure due to lack of training vessels.
He also said that the academy needed funds to provide more infrastructure to cater for the increasing number of students intake into the academy.
“We need fund to build new structures, we have the capacity to run the degree courses, but we have not been given the approval due to dearth of infrastructure,” Kponu said.
He also said that a school certificate holder or primary school certificate could work in a ship after obtaining a mandatory one-week course.
”The one-week training is compulsory in line with the Standard of Training Certificate and Watch keeping (STCW) to be able to go on the sea.
”The certificate given to such a person is valid for only five years. The person is expected to take higher courses to be upgraded,” he said.
According to him, the four compulsory courses are on personal survival techniques, first aid, personal safety and social responsibility as well as fire fighting.
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