The Alumni Association of Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology (FCFMT) in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) has sponsored 87 students on free basic mandatory cadet training.
This is even as 10 exceptional students of the College have been given free scholarship to further their studies in India.
Speaking during his welcome address at the presentation of Certificate ceremony in Lagos on Wednesday, the President of the Alumni association, Captain Williams Ogunsakin informed that the certification is in fulfillment of STCW basic mandatory training on Security Awareness, Seamanship and Fisheries Resources Management.
According to him, this is a basic requirement for all cadets to be able to serve on board a ship. He noted that the certification is globally accepted and not limited to Nigeria, adding that it is renewable after five years.
Ogunsakin also informed that a non-governmental organisation; Tetra Foundation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of India to train Nigerian students on free scholarship. He noted that five exceptional students each from Nautical and Marine Engineering departments are now beneficiaries of the scholarship to study in India.
While lamenting on the unavailability of ships in Nigeria in providing seatime opportunities for the students, the alumni however called on the government to float a National Carrier stressing that this will enhance human capacity development among seafarers in the country. He also sought for the cooperation of other alumni members to immensely support the students and the development of the College.
In his words: “This is a great set because some people have finished about five years ago and they have not got this. This is a great opportunity and without it you cannot even sweep in a ship. The certificate is not limited to Nigeria alone. You can use it anywhere. But that is not to say you are a competent officer yet. You are still going to have Certificate of Competency. This one will enable you to go on board and serve your cadetship.
“It is quite unfortunate that Nigeria does not have ships to accommodate the cadets for their seatime. We would advise government to float National Carrier. We cannot leave the job in the hands of the school authority alone. We are ready to work with the school and make sure that this school excels. We shall be a pacesetter for other maritime institutions in Nigeria”, Ogunsakin concluded.
The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the NIOMR, Capt Abiodun Sule in his remarks admonished the students to make use of this golden opportunity to develop their career and pursuit for success.
While commending the alumni association for the great feat, Capt Sule encouraged the students to be focused and career-driven by optimally making use of the training and certifications for the development of shipping in Nigeria.
“Do not wait until you see a Catho or Tanker vessel before you make use of your trainings and certifications. There are many opportunities in the shipping industry where you can develop yourself and succeed. Concentrate on any work pertaining to the marine and with dedication and hardworking you will certainly succeed. Don’t stop at the level too. Make sure you do some degree programmes to develop and elevate yourself in your career in order to have an edge over your contemporaries”, Sule noted.
Also speaking, the Provost of the College, Dr. Onouha Chuks noted that he would ensure that the alumni association become more visible in the college adding that their impact and support for the students in the college is indispensable.
Dr. Onouha who was represented by the Deputy Provost of the College, Mrs Ronke Adebowale commended Mantra Maritime Training Center which is the facilitator of the trainings and certifications. He advised the students to be creative, innovative and dedicated to succeed, so that they can also extend this gesture to younger generation of students coming behind them.
“The management of the College will ensure the alumni association become visible in the college. I am glad the alumni was re-inaugurated and have taken the bull by the horn. We would like to appreciate Mantra Maritime Training Center for the opportunity.
“I’ll also like to reinstate that you go out there and make your way to success despite the situation of the country. Do not join the bandwagon but choose to be creative, innovative and dedicated. When you go out, don’t forget your alma mata”, Dr Onouha said.
On his part, the Managing Director of Mantra Maritime Training Institute, Captain Olopoenia, who was represented by Captain Adewale Ishola noted that the institute has been partnering with the college, adding that the cost of the training for each of the students is an average of N150,000 or more depending on the institution.
Olopoenia urged the students to make judicious use of these certifications adding that it will be a veritable source of their livelihood throughout their lifetime.
“We have been partnering with the College for a very long time. The alumni provided the life tracks and we were the first to launch that life track at your swimming pool. You were given free scholarship and I hope when you go out there, you will appreciate what has been given to you”, he noted.
The Chairman Board of Trustees of the Alumni Association, Captain Fola Ojutalayo stressed that the alumni will always try their best to support the students. He also admonished the students not to allow the seed of the investment on them by the alumni and Institute not to fall on the ground where it would not germinate.
“The training was paid for by the alumni supported by NIOMR subsidized by Mantra Maritime Training Institute. These courses are expensive. I did mine in Ghana and I did some in UK. These are programmes that ordinarily you spend dollars and pounds, but the alumni was able to bring it to your doorsteps right here in the college for you to be able to go through this mandatory pioneer certification. This is the first certificate you must get if you want to work in this industry.
“The alumni will always try their best to support the students. Do not allow the seed of this investment to fall on the ground where it would not germinate. The alumni is making this investment in you because in the future, we see great prospects in all of you. We want you to go out there to shine and excel. This will make the flag of this college to keep flying.
“This school has been opportuned to produce a lot of record breakers not only in Nigeria, but all over the world. I want to encourage you to go out there and do the same thing. After few years we want you to come back and replicate this gesture by sending other younger students abroad. So this is just a token for you to go out there thrive, make us and your parents proud and make sure you don’t give up”, Oguntalayo admonished them.
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