A seafarers body in Nigeria; Merchant Navy Directorate has floated an institution named Merchant Marine Training Academy with the aim of bridging knowledge gap among Nigerian cadets, especially in marine intelligence and business intelligence.
The academy is headed by retired Navy Capt Abel Ogah as the Rector.
Speaking with Shipping Position Daily on the achievement of the institute in a short while, Secretary of the Merchant Navy Directorate, Capt Alfred Oniye said the academy was set up in collaboration with a foreign university.
According to him, the school situated in Apapa has so far graduated Professors, PhD holders and Masters Degree holders.
Oniye described the institute as a professional institute where some of the students already finished from one maritime institution or the other. He said it is a shameful for a maritime nation like Nigeria for its cadets to be going outside the country to acquire certificates.
He decried a situation whereby today, a Certificate of Competency obtained in neighbouring Ghana is more powerful than what is issued by a maritime nation like Nigeria.
He said: "When we say we want to revamp the Nigerian economy, few of us that are experts cannot do it alone, so what we did was to set up a training institute in collaboration with a foreign university, we call it a citadel of knowledge where we can impact knowledge and raise giants that would revamp the Nigerian economy"
"The basic reason for setting up this institute, we did not affiliate it to any Nigerian university here, but we are still going to that, we want to build the reputation from outside the country, but our major responsibility is to raise giants that would believe in this country and revamp the Nigerian economy through the maritime industry”
Our core value is collaboration; we are ready to collaborate with any existing agency"
"Presently we have not started navigation or engineering courses, the area we are focusing on is maritime security, marine intelligence and business intelligence, these are the areas the sector is seriously lacking, if our waters are secure, investors would come in".
Capt Oniye disclosed that one of the objectives of the Merchant Navy Directorate is to set up a world standard training institute which is what it is doing now.
He said "What we run here is American standard, we don't take more than 16 people in the class, it is an executive class"
"Foreigners have dominated Nigerian waters because the indigenes do not have enough knowledge about the waters"
"So, we decided to bring that knowledge that is outside to this place, ask the students who have finished from here, in this school we have graduated professors, in the last batch, we had professor among them, we have PhD holders who are captains among our student, I cannot tell you the number of Master degree holders that we have trained in this institution, we want to make them understand that the industry is still fertile and is untapped, this industry controls 90% of Nigerian economy but it is untapped", he said.