In its determination to meet the growing demand for qualified maritime professionals, the African Maritime Academy, Oyo, in Oyo State is set to train over 2,000 cadets.
Disclosing this at the Maritime Reporters Congress of Nigeria (MARCON) stakeholders monthly forum, fleet Commodore Mohammed Adekunle Yusuf (rtd.), CEO/Director of Studies and Planning stated that the Academy has commenced aggressive expansion of its facilities and that increase in its number of intakes will commence in the next academic session.
Commodore Yusuf, a retired veteran sailor said, funding is a major challenge in the Maritime Educational Sector and urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to design a soft insurance jacket that will promote rather than retard Foreign Investment Loans Scheme, and lamented that the current insurance cost regime is prohibitive and frustrating.
The stakeholder, a frontline operator of a Merchant Navy Academy lamented non support of NIMASA for private sector players in the Maritime Education sub sector.
He further explained that in other maritime nations, government seek to play significant role in the overall development of growing its maritime manpower base through sincere partnership participation and support through grants, stressing that the hitherto failure of the Nigerian government in having a pool of Maritime manpower is derived from government selfish and erroneous views that only government should provide the needed power.
“If government through the Maritime fund equip training institutions in Nigeria and sponsor trainees to get world class training at home, more Nigerians will benefit. The fund used in training a hundred Nigerians abroad can also be spent to train about a thousand youths at home if the equipment and training manpower are made available locally”, he said.
As a private sector initiative, AMA, the retired navigator said “is intensifying its drive to contribute in making Nigeria the number one country in skilled maritime workforce on the African continent. We are adding value to teaching and learning by applying technology in the knowledge impacting process”.
According to him, the academy has began training of its cadets with simulator, adding recently the school purchased a 200 units of computer sets to upgrade the IT needs of its cadets and students; who became more grounded in ICT application within the parameter of modern vessel operations.
Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos