The Alumni of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron (AMANO), has voiced deep concern over the marked decrease in the availability of what it called “Capacity Vessels.”
Expressing apprehension over this, the President of AMANO Mr. Emmanuel Maiguwa at a press briefing on Tuesday in Lagos lamented a significant reduction in the availability of these crucial vessels for the advancement of the nation’s maritime industry.
Maiguwa noted the pivotal role these vessels play in seafarers’ ongoing training and certification, underscoring the necessity for collaboration between industry practitioners and government agencies to overcome the challenges.
He informed that currently only the Oil and Gas Maritime Offshore sector is providing some considerable number of platforms, he however noted that this sector alone cannot provide all the key elements needed to develop Nigeria’s potential due to the limitation of vessel size and trading areas it presents.
The association further called on stakeholders to unite in addressing this issue, explaining the profound impact it has on the nation’s education quality and future economic growth.
He said: “We are concerned about a significant decline in “Capacity Vessels” availability to support maritime capacity development.
“It is important to recognise that seafarers’ training, especially for officers, does not end at the point of acquiring OOW.
“The officers must be on vessels consistently to achieve a class one certification. This training phase can only be successful when suitable and gainfully employed vessels are available in the industry. It is one thing to acquire a vessel but another to ensure her gainful employment” he said.
“Currently, only the Oil and Gas Maritime Offshore sector which is domiciled inside the maritime industry is providing some considerable number of platforms. However, this sector alone cannot provide all the key elements needed to develop Nigeria’s potential due to the limitation of vessel size and trading areas it presents.
“We understand that there are political exigencies in leadership composition within government agencies. However, we encourage those given these opportunities to fully engage with practitioners within the industry to understand the challenges and work out a pathway to developing our potential collectively.
“AMANO wishes to resonate a clarion call to other stakeholders both within and outside the industry to support this cause, bearing in mind that the quality of our future generation is as good as the quality of the education given to them.
“It must go further to provide a platform for professionally trained to support the nation’s growth and development. A progressing nation must begin discussing developing a blue economy with sustainably employed ships.
“For a ship to operate sustainably, it must have competent seafarers, technical managers, and highly competent flag administration. With these in place, we will attract growth and attain our potential in Blue Economy” he said
The association also urged the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola to increase the budget allocation to the. Maritime Academy of Nigeria (Oron) to ensure employment of needed qualified professionals.
Maiguwa explained that special intervention funding will enable the academy to adequately match professional mariners’ compensation to that of the private sector to attract qualified professionals into the system
Maiguwa also expressed hope for the continuation of positive reforms initiated by Rector Commodore Emmanuel Duja Effedua at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, while also acknowledging the establishment of Nigeria’s Marine and Blue Economy ministry, interpreting it as a sign of the government’s heightened focus on maritime industry growth.