Okuwashi tasks FG on introduction of shipping curriculum in institutions

Rector of the Certified Institute of Shipping (CIS), Prof. Alex Okwuashi has tasked the Federal Government on the development of a shipping curriculum that would help in advancing the development of the Nigerian shipping sector.

Okuwashi in his office on Tuesday said the shipping curriculum would help develop the maritime industry to international standard.

He said, “It is unfortunate that several years after independence, Nigeria still does not have a curriculum for shipping. So the government should develop a curriculum where shipping can be taught in polytechnics, universities and other institutions across the country.

“Government also needs to create enabling accreditation, licenses and certification to institutions so that students who graduate from those schools will have valued certificates.

“It is unfortunate that we don’t have schools running maritime. It is also unfortunate that government refuses to upgrade Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron to a degree awarding institution,” he said.

He also urged the Federal Ministry of Transport to decentralize the functions of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to make it effective.

“The responsibility put at the door step of NIMASA is too much and that is weighing them down from performing.

“They are in charge of the International Ships and Ports Facility Security Code (ISPS), environmental maintenance, shipping administration, international shipping, Flag State Control and so on.

“The assignment given to NIMASA should be decentralized for them to be active. This is one dimension of allowing our maritime industry grow,” he said.

Okwuashi also advised the FG to completely remove its hands from the transport sector if it wants to privatise it.

“When you privatise, it is basically to inject private participation that will allow for a functional sector. Because, looking at the other sectors that have been privatised how have they fared over the years?

“But when we privatise and we allow for government control there will be heavy interference. For instance, if the government wants to privatise Tin Can Port, they should do it out rightly because if the government has overwhelming control of the transport sector, it will affect the privatised sector,” he said.

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