The Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Commodore Duja Effedua has said that the academy plans to visit India by end of January 2019 to conclude talks on the delivery of its full mission bridge world class simulator.
Commodore Effedua revealed that the academy is being supported by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and that it is already in talks with a firm in India to provide the equipment.
“We are already in talks with a firm in India over availability of simulators in the Academy. We were in India last year with NIMASA and officials of the Federal Ministry of Transportation and we will be visiting again by end of January, 2019 to conclude the talks on simulators.
“Simulators are not things you buy off the shelf. You must discuss specification and other things, including preparing the place where the simulators will be stationed,” the MAN, Oron Rector added.
The rector has also revealed that the academy is having a partnership with indigenous ship-owners with the ultimate aim of ensuring that cadets from the academy get sea time onboard ships.
He confessed that due to its very expensive nature and the huge cost of maintenance, the academy cannot afford to own a training vessel.
He said the amount needed for maintenance of a training vessel was too enormous for the academy budget to contend with for now.
According to the MAN, Oron Rector, “There is much more involved financially to own a training vessel, and our budget cannot afford that now. A training vessel is a specialized ship that consumes very much litres of diesel to stay afloat.
“If the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) decides to buy a training vessel for the academy and also maintain it, that will be fine by us. But we cannot afford a training vessel from our meager budget.
“For example, the Nigerian Navy has a ship called Thunder. Thunder is slightly bigger than Aradu. To fuel the NNS Aradu, you will need 35 petroleum tankers, and that will just probably give two weeks at sea. So when the Navy says it needs funding, people doesn’t understand.
“Same situation plays out with a training vessel. A training vessel is not a tug boat. A training vessel is a specialised vessel where the accommodation for the organic staff is different from where the cadets will be accommodated. To a layman, a ship is a ship, but a training vessel is just not any ship. It is a specialised vessel that costs huge funding to buy and maintain. The academy cannot afford to have one now.