How Can The Proliferation Of Fake Maritime Training Institutions Be Stopped?

Chris Sadoh (Educationist)There is the need for individuals who wish to set up a merchant navy institute to go through the appropriate channel to make it a legal entity, because the situation on ground is also affecting the legally-established schools. The government through relevant authorities should go all out to confiscate any school or whatsoever they call themselves, otherwise it will continue to linger. Without government involvement and aggression, I don’t think it is going to be easy to put a stop to it, because the bulk of the responsibility stops at the doorsteps of the government. 

Musa Akinyemi {Crown Maritime Academy}I think the best way out of the quagmire is for the relevant authorities to give some level of protection to the legal merchant navy schools, then move a step further on how to identify the fake ones. One way the government can curb this menace is to work closely with the legal academies or institutions with support from the merchant navy union by way to know their code of conduct and even mode of dressing and above all verify if such a school is duly registered by either NBTE or Federal Ministry of Education. However the union which is the Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association should also be involved in the process of curbing the menace. I want to believe that information sharing among the navy and the union is very important at the period.

 Kehinde Fie {Seafarer}The only way out to stop the existence of fake institutions under the guise of being a merchant navy academy is for the Nigeria Navy to work closely with Merchant navy knowing very well that they know the authentic and fake schools. However, the legitimate schools also need to support the union in this fight because it is affecting their operations.

 John Okpono {Asst Sec Gen Merchant Navy}We will continue to appeal to all the private maritime institutions to affiliate with us to forge a common front because the issue at hand is to be tackled by the union no doubt, the regulatory agency, the navy and of course the schools.

 Edris Aloma (Seafarer)The Merchant Navy is known as seafarers, they are not regimental, they are not military. If it is a nautical institution, you have to look at the maritime administration which has to do with NIMASA, because they have to go for mandatories which is a license issued by IMO for license to board a vessel. So merchant navy all over the world is likened to activities of the navy but they don't carry arms, looking at the merchant navy institution, what we would ask is- are they licensed by government to operate? If not, we can say they are fake, but if they have the license you cannot refer to them as fake, because we have a lot of approved and accredited institutions like that.

 Sampson Chima (Registrar, Nigerian Institute of Shipping)What we can refer to as fake in Nigeria is if the school does not have government’s approval or license to operate. When you say government license, you look at the ministry of education, most of the schools are known as vocational institutions, there are two requirements for them to get approval from government. They must have provisional approval from the ministry education either at the state level or if they want to operate on the Federal level they must go to the ministry of education in Abuja. For example, if you want to operate a degree awarding institution, the federal government must issue you a license, after this we look at their programmes; they must get accreditation from the ministry of education which is different from license to operate. If a vocational institution is licensed by the government, it is not referred to as fake, if the Nigerian Navy says that these schools do not have license to operate from government as a vocational institution, then we have to check deeply if they are licensed. On the certificate issue, presently we have the National Innovative Diploma in Shipping Management which is given by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE); it is a national curriculum under the ministry of education, the navy coming up to say the schools are not licensed, we have to look at it critically.  

Omololu Gbenga (Clearing agent)We have a government agency; the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) which registers businesses and issue certificate to operate a business, many people believe that once they have this certificate, they are good to establish a school, but it is wrong. For you to run a merchant navy academy, there must be a supervision from the Nigerian Navy itself, if you go to the ministry of education to get approval, they will tell you to go start an interim operation for them to see how best you have been organised, this is because they have no knowledge of this area before, they want to see how best you teach the students and your acceptability in the market, before they issue you a temporary approval to operate. What the navy needs to do is to keep clamping on these mushroom schools because they are a security risk to this country.

Obagbo Tunji (POTMAN)Merchant navies are supposed to work on commercial vessels while the Navy handles the security aspect of it, the area that they both align is the area of fitness for the job, merchant navy needs a little bit of military background for the job. On this ground, if the Nigerian Navy observes that some merchant navy outfits are contravening their operations, then they need to caution them for the security of the country, if possible, before the take-off of these schools, there should be an inspection by Navy, this is because government cannot take care of everything, especially in the merchant area, it is a professionalized area which government cannot handle all the time. Nigeria is a populous country and not everyone will have the opportunity of going to government conventional schools, so we still need to appreciate the private schools for doing this to assist the government.