Deputy Director, Maritime Labour Services of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Coordinator of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) initiative of the Agency, Mr. Victor Egejuru in a photograph with some of the beneficiaries of the NSDP scheme during their graduation ceremony from the Liverpool John Moore University, UK recently
The Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom State has engaged the services of REFAST Consulting Company, Ghana, led by the immediate past Rector of Ghana Regional Maritime University, Captain Aaron Turkson to carry out a review of course files of all academic programmes offered in the institution.
To this end, the academy, after the review, is expected to draw up a curriculum for the establishment of Eletro-Technical Office Department which will ultimately boost the training of master mariners and chief engineers.
The development is part of efforts by the Federal Government to restructure and reposition the premier maritime institution to meet world-class standard.
To achieve this goal, the Captain Aaron Turkson-led team is reportedly working out modalities of reviewing Classes 1 and 2 Deck and Engine Deck programmes.
During a recent visit to the academy, Captain Turkson lamented the inability of the institution to train master mariners and chief engineers despite its quality of lecturers and facilities.
“Our terms of reference are to review Class 1 and 2 Deck and Engine Programmes, take a look at the Course Files of all the programmes offered in the Academy and draw up a curriculum for the establishment of Eletro-Technical Office Department’’, he confirmed.
Turkson decried the nonchalance of young maritime professionals towards teaching in maritime institutions. He observed it was due to low remuneration when compared to what is obtainable in the oil and gas firms in the region.
The former Rector, who said they were in the Academy to share experiences, further encouraged the lecturers to continue to hold on for as long as their strength could carry them, because, according to him, the dearth of seafarers can only be addressed by provision of same to work in the maritime industry. It’s not easy to find professionals like you.
“Facilities and buildings do not make institutions, it is the quality of academic programmes and the trainees that make the institution and you are the backbone. So, don’t allow bottlenecks to drag you back,” he said.
He, however, emphasised the need to encourage young professionals to take up lecturing opportunities in maritime training institutions.
He also observed that the Academy lacks some relevant simulators such as ECDISS, RADAR ARPA and GMDSS; even as he noted that in the course of their work they would audit the simulators and come out with appropriate recommendations in line with STCW Conventions.
Dr. Kevin Okonna, who represented the Rector, Commodore Duja Emmanuel Effedua, welcomed the visitors to the Academy, saying their engagement was as a result of the Federal Government’s determination to reposition and restructure the nation’s premier maritime education and training institution, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron for global best practices and competitiveness.
He added that the relevant members of staff would co-operate with them to ensure the quick realisation of the restructuring exercise and wished them a successful stay in the Academy.
Also speaking, the Director, School of Nautical Studies, Captain Francis Kponu expressed satisfaction over the decision of the Federal Government to seek the counsel of the seasoned professionals.
He pledged their unflinching support to whatever plan that would move the Academy forward, adding that the only way to bring in young and vibrant professionals into the lecturing job was to beef up the remuneration that is better than what is obtainable now.
Recall that a member of the Interim Management Committee and CEO/Chairman Starzs Marine Investment Limited, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun revealed that the former Rector of the Regional Maritime University, Ghana, has been engaged to work with the IMC in realisation of its objectives.