Seatime: Private academies run to Navy for help

Apparently disturbed by the lack of seatime for cadets in private maritime academies in the country, the Association of Licensed Maritime Academies of Nigeria (ALMAN) has disclosed that it is discussing with the Nigerian Navy on how they can help provide seatime for their cadets on their vessels.

This initiative was disclosed recently in Lagos by the National Vice President of the Association, Engr. Isaac Aikoroje.

Aikoroje who is also the Rector of Global Maritime Academy (GMA), Delta State said the association is discussing with the Navy on how they can provide seatime for their cadets.

He said, “What we are working on is for the Nigeria Navy to assist us with a vessel to train our cadets, because it will help us in various ways.”

Aikoroje said the Federal Government had failed to realise the presence and importance of privately owned maritime schools.

“We are here to assist the government in areas where they don’t have much to do. Now, how many government schools do we have in the country? But we are here to groom future seafarers, officers and ship managers.

“Though they have current limitations due to the dearth of carriers in the country, through our own little efforts we have given the students both practical and theoretical training just like any serious maritime educational system in the world would do.

“As we speak, students from private maritime schools can produce air-conditions, refrigerators which means in their cabin onboard vessels they can attend to any technical hitches that might arise – and that is a plus to us. Stars Maritime Academy alone has students that manufacture locally made fridges air-conditions, electric stoves and other appliances like that.

“In a nutshell those kind of students will not find it difficult when they get jobs on ships because nothing will be new to them.

“Let me also add that the sailors we graduate are used to the tools that will make them become whoever they want to be in future professionally and we are all proud about that.

“Again we just formed an association for the sake of speaking with one voice but, notwithstanding the best is yet to come from private maritime academies in Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking further, the Rector called for immediate floating of a national shipping line for the development of cadets.

“It is the dream of every seafarer to get to the highest position in his career just like every graduate would want to aspire to becoming the managing director of a company. Same also goes for Nigerian cadets who will continue to remain as supervisors on board foreign owned carriers. But, in a situation whereby we have our own carrier, then the Nigerian seafarers can climb the ladder of success in their chosen profession. Apart from that, the vessels will be available for international trade by move goods from country to another and from one continent to another as well.”

Also, Aikoroje said floating national carrier would boost the revenue base of the country.

“It will also bring more revenue for the government of Nigeria; our seafarers will be employed massively; we will have professional personnel and the issue of inexperience will be a thing of the past.

“If we fail to own a national carrier, we will still depend heavily on what NPA, NIMASA collects as revenue to government which I believe the Nigerian Government has outgrown.

“With a national carrier in place, all maritime sub sectors will derive a lot of money in their respective businesses. I believe the government is only depriving itself of what can change the economy of the nation.

“Aside from that, the number of people this sector alone can engage through employment cannot be quantified. Our government needs to give more opportunities to our seafarers for them to take their rightful positions in the international community, and the only way out is to float a national carrier and participate in international trade to earn more money for the economy.”

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