The Ports Consultative Council (PCC) and the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM) have lauded the Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, Commodore Duja Effedua (rtd), for the acquisition simulators for sea time training of cadets at the academy.
It will be recalled that the Commodore Effedua said recently that stimulators acquired by the academy have been trapped in Indian about one year after they were acquired, he added that the delay was occasioned by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
He also explained that the academy is hoping that there will be a window for the simulators to be shipped into the country as soon as possible.
Reacting to this, the Chairman of PCC, Otunba Kunle Folarin said that the quest for stimulators have been on for over 20 years, adding that people have started realising the importance of stimulator.
Folarin who explained the need for simulators also said that in seafaring, it is impossible to get Certificate of Competency without having sea time experiences.
"Let me tell you something, simulator requirements have been there for more than 20 years and nobody did anything about that. Until now people started realising that there is no sea time for the graduates, they are just academic graduates they are not nautical graduates"
Explaining further he maintained that stimulator can never override the importance of sea time.
"And you know in seafaring, you cannot get the Certificate of Competency until you do the sea time. So the simulator is just a resemblance of what we find on the sea, it does not replace the sea time which you must get on ocean going vessel, it is a resemblance you will see it as a picture what you will do when you get to the sea. We should not overplay the importance of stimulator as if it is going to replace the sea time"
Folarin also urged Nigerians to be patient with the Rector of MAN Oron, adding that they can only raise eye brows if there are evidences that the simulators were not actually procured.
"Since we don't manufacture these simulators and we have to order from other countries, we have to have some patient. It is only when we have evidences that they didn't procure it that we can be shouting. But I don't think India was working on those simulators during the lockdown"
"The factories were not working let us give them the benefit of doubt now that the factories are resuming in India where it is supposed to have been manufactured and now that International shipping is resuming then we shall know whether it is true or not. But the position of the Rector is that they have ordered for it"
According to him, stimulators are not something you produce and keep it is produced based on specifications and requirements.
"Simulators are not something you buy on the shop, it is not something you go to the shop to buy. A simulator can occupy the whole floor and you have all these robots and control rooms where you are maneuvering. So it is a vast thing it is not just an equipment that will be kept in a place, they don't manufacture it until it is ordered"
Also speaking the president of NAMM, Captain Tajudeen Also confirmed that the Rector of the academy has ordered a modern stimulator.
He however said that the arrival and installation of the consignment was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The Rector has ordered modern simulator for the Academy, this can be verified. Arrival was affected by worldwide set back to shipping movement"
He also maintained that the equipment will be installed before the end of the year 2020.
"There is a temporary setback to delivery and actualisation of installation. This should be okay before end of the year"
According to him, "Covid-19 restrictions on business transactions. Simulator is not an essential commodity, hence delay in shipment to Nigeria"
Meanwhile a Master Mariner, Captain Adewale Ishola said that even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Rector has sent some lecturers to India for a training on stimulators.
Ishola who is also a lecturer at the academy said that it will be coming into the country through Port-Harcourt ports.
"Even before Covid-19, the Rector of the Academy has sent people to India to go for training on that simulators. So I don't like people insinuating that they are playing politics with the simulators"
"He has bought this simulators and he has trained people on it, he has ship this simulators to Nigeria, clearance will be from the Port-Harcourt and Covid-19 has delayed things. That is the true situation of things, because I am aware, that is why I am quoting him, the man is not making stories" he concluded.