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Maritime Academy To Train 2,000 Cadets

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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

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Maritime

Piracy: MWUN Tasks NIMASA On Security Of Inland Waters

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The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to extend the activity wing of the Deep Blue Project to the inland waterways to curb piracy and other forms of criminal activities.
The Deep Blue Project consists of Nigeria’s maritime security assets commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
Despite the launch of the USD195 million maritime security assets, criminal acts have persisted in the Gulf of Guinea (GOG) and the nations inland waterways, witnessing the abduction of eight persons including five maritime workers, along the Kula-Abonnema River.
Speaking on the abduction, Deputy General Secretary of MWUN, Comrade Oniha Erazua, urged NIMASA to extend the coverage of the Deep Blue Project to the inland waters considering the incessant abduction of travellers along the waterways.
“It’s appalling that five of our workers were abducted suddenly. It took the intervention of some stakeholders to get them rescued eventually. Our coastal waters are essential to the economy of the country and should be secured.
“Should we now leave our inland waters insecure to the detriment of our workers? It shouldn’t be. We are begging NIMASA to extend the activity wing of the Deep Blue Project to the inland waters that are prone to kidnapping and all other maritime related crimes”, he said.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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MWUN Members Relive Experiences In Kidnappers’ Den …Say They Were Fed With Garri, Flogged With Knives

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The five members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Rivers State Branch, that regained freedom from kidnappers’ den last week say they were fed with only garri and flogged with knives and sticks while in captivity. 
The MWUN members said they were fed for three out of the six days in captivity in the hands of the suspected pirates.
Narrating their ordeal to The Tide shortly after their release in Port Harcourt, the victims comprising four men and one woman said they were set free and dumped at a mangrove forest near Abonnema between 8pm and 9pm.
“The experience at the mangrove was not easy, we were beaten with knives and sticks by the pirates.
“We were fed with garri for only three days through out our six days of captivity, once in a day”, one of the victims who did not want his name mentioned said. 
 The victims, however, declined to give reasons why they were abducted by suspected gunmen on their way to Port Harcourt on a commercial boat.
It would be recalled that the five members of MWUN were kidnapped two weeks ago by suspected pirates onboard a commercial boat from Kula, near Abonnema to Port Harcourt to attend a meeting. 
The MWUN gave their names as Comrade Wisdom Iderima, Chairman, MWUN, Kula Unit; West Opubo, Secretary, MWUN, Kula, Unit; Ajenina Daniel, Vice Chairman, and Madam Clementeba Clementeba Exco officio of MWUN, Kula Unit. 
One of the abductees, Madam Clementeba said she had been kidnapped three times by pirates.
She said she had 12 boats that used to ply Kula /Abonnema routes, but had all been stolen by criminals.
She said sea robbers had carted away 10 of her speed boats for no reasons.
Clementeba called on the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the state government to assist her recover her missing boats and curb sea piracy on the waterways.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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NIWA Threatens To Arrest Fishermen Defecating In Lagos Lagoon

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The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has threatened to arrest and prosecute any fisherman that defecates into Lagos lagoon.
This was contained in a statement by Kelvin Eba, an official of the agency working at the Liverpool area of Apapa, Lagos while warning the fishermen.
Eba said the agency would no longer tolerate the practice, but insisted that it would arrest and prosecute any culprit.
He said NIWA had set up patrol teams to arrest offenders, most of whom he described as “illiterates and drug addicts”.
He said, “Defecating into the river, lagoon and such places is classified as open defecation, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), can lead to the outbreak of diseases including diarrhea and others associated with ingesting and exposure to human waste”.
The Tide reports that in October 2019, Nigeria became the number one open defecation nations in the world, overtaking India. 
An estimate of 10 to 50 million Nigerians are said to be defecating in the open space.

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