Reps Call For Seafaring Vessels To Train Cadets At MAN, Oron     

The House of Representatives yesterday called for the provision of seafaring vessels and ocean liners for training of cadets in Maritime Academy, Oron, Akwa Ibom.

This followed a motion by Rep. Bassey Ekpenyong at plenary.

Moving the motion, Ekpenyong expressed concern over lack of seafaring vessels for effective training of cadets in the academy, the pioneer maritime institution in Nigeria.

He explained that the institution, established in 1979, had produced no fewer 5,000 seafarers for the country’s maritime industry.

Ekpenyong expressed worry that the industry was still finding it difficult to effectively equip shipboard officers and ratings with the mandatory and advanced certifications.

These, according to him, were needed in offshore global maritime operations and management due to non-accessibility to ocean-going vessels in spite of its waterfront being close to the Atlantic Ocean.

The lawmaker decried the dearth of necessary facilities in the institution, saying it had made it difficult for cadets to earn required hours at sea as requisite for completion of mandatory one-year sea term and advanced training.

He said that the situation had resulted in brain drain and capital flight, thus negating the needed development in the Nigerian maritime sector.

The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.

The House, therefore, mandated the Committees on Ports, Harbour and Waterways and Maritime Safety, Education and Administration to liaise with Federal Ministry of Transportation to ensure the provisions of training and ocean-going vessels.

The committees will also ensure that vessels that will help to improve the competence of cadets are put in place in compliance with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) standard.