L-R. Mr. Raph Agbogu, representative of the Managing Director of ICNL, Mr. Lawal Abiodun, Chier Executive Officer (CEO) PortBizness Communications, Mr. James Shodiya and others at the 2019 Nigeria Auto-Marine Conference & Exhibition held in Lagos last week.
After going ahead to set up a merchant marine training academy called; Mid Maritime Academy, the Merchant Navy Directorate has said that its ultimate ain is to floating a merchant navy university.
Speaking with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos last week, Secretary of the Directorate, Capt Alfred Oniye said the academy recently graduated 10 cadets in Bachelor's Degree and they are preparing to serve Nigeria with the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC).
He assured that the Merchant University would be totally different from the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko or Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
Capt Oniye said that rather than going outside Nigeria to other foreign maritime operators academy, cadets can get what they need outside in Nigeria, saying that what the directorate is setting up is international standard.
"We just graduated the first set of BSc students in maritime security and safety management, they are now going for their service, they would serve with the NYSC because this is a normal academy. We have about 10 of them who just finished”, he said.
"We have those going to final year, some going into 200 level and some that are just coming in, we are not doing anything shady here, if you don't have what it takes, the law permits you to affiliate”, he explained.
Until we have some other necessary licenses in which we are going to have very soon, what we are setting up is a merchant university where we can train and impact international standard knowledge, where we can stop our people from going outside the country to go and learn" he said
Capt Oniye explained that for now, the main reasons the academy has not started navigation, engineering courses is because it does not intend to carry out navigation courses without a training vessel, he said these trainings are purely practical.
"One of the reasons we are yet to commence mandatory courses is because we don't believe in the childish mandatory they are running in this country, we would not do that because there is a standard"
"In some of the academies today, after the mandatory courses, for a cadet to even rescue himself is a problem, they don't have the smallest water surviving techniques because the training they were given is not realistic with what they see in the waters"
"You are teaching somebody water surviving techniques inside the swimming pool, and you expect him to operate at sea.
We have gotten to a stage whereby our cadets can learn and earn, because we are almost done with the last stage so that they can have more of practical experience in terms of maritime security"