By Richards Adeniyi
The Nigeria Association of Master Mariners (NAMM) has criticized the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmo, Sweden and called on the agency to lay more emphasis on developing its own indigenous nautical school, the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
President of the association, Captain Tajudeen Alao, stated this weekend while reacting to the development. He explained that MAN, Oron has what it takes to compete favourably with other notable schools in the globe, but added that failure on the part of the regulatory agency has made it to suffer setbacks since its establishment in the late 1970s.
The President recalled that in the mid-1980s, the Federal Government sent Nigerians to the WMU for training, yet those set of individuals were not given ample opportunity to build capacity for the younger generation.
“Nigeria as a government signed a pact with WMU, Malmo, between 1983 and 1985. After over 30 years of the training in Malmo and Cardiff, Wales, we are supposed to have enough capacity for the industry.
“This is not the time to start sending people overseas under the name of capacity building because it’s a fellowship programme.
“The idea behind it is that they will give Nigeria as a country some slots on the number of persons to be part of the programme but I will like to say here that this is a mere misinformation on the part of the NIMASA”, Alao said.
Evaluating the state of the Oron academy, the mariner expressed dissatisfaction on what he called NIMASA’s lukewarm attitude towards giving it maximum support.
Captain Alao said NIMASA under Dakuku Peterside should channel both financial and human resources in boosting the academy’s growth, regretting the lame support and investment on improving facilities in the institution by agency.
NIMASA recently announced that it has entered into a MoU with the World Maritime University, Malmo, to develop human capacity for the Nigerian maritime sector.
Speaking shortly after signing the MoU, the Director General of the agency, Dr. Peterside who led a delegation from Nigeria to Malmo, expressed optimism that this would help the agency realize its strategic plans to reposition the Nigerian maritime sector for greater efficiency.
According to a statement issued by the Head, Corporate Communications, Isichei Osamgbi, the MoU was in line with the ongoing reforms being championed by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.