FOLLOWING the set back young Nigerian marine cadets have suffered in getting job placement, occasioned by their inability to get sea time training, the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, has concluded plans to send 250 cadets abroad for their compulsory training.
The move to embark on this training programme for cadets, was borne out of an experiment the management of the Academy is currently considering by sending these cadets abroad for eighteen months.. The Academy is currently experimenting with the idea of sending about 250 cadets abroad for the purpose of sea time training so as to ensure that these category of Nigerians get quality training needed to flourish in the profession..
In an interactive session with members of the Maritime Reporters Congress of Nigeria (MARCON), the Academy’s Rector Dr. Joshua Okpo, said that the first twenty cadets are being used as a pilot programme for the entire project.
Okpo also said that the Ministry of Transport has been intimated of the plan, adding that a proposal has also been sent to the Minister, Senator Idris Umar. The Academy’s boss explained that, while about one of the cadet are from the nautical science department, 150 of the cadets are from marine engineering department.
He further explained that it was the desire of the Academy to make Government fund the project, but the government needed to be convinced before we approach them. According to the Rector, about N8million has been budgeted for each of the cadets and the amount will cover their living expenses, general upkeep of the cadets.
“The money is meant to pay for their upkeep of the cadets, part of the money will also be spent on the maintenance of their working tools and equipment. ‘We want government to fund the project, but government has to be convinced, we must first of all do a pilot project by spending our money”. He stated.
Speaking further Okpo stated that the academy is also is also looking forward to its partnership with both the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in provision of boats for the training needs of its cadets.
The maritime academy is also partnering with both the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the World Maritime University (WMU) for the purpose of affiliation.
Okpo also commended the support the academy has been receiving from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, a development that has assisted in completing most of the major projects in the campus.
“The academy has never had it so good, NIMASA has been very supportive and I want you all to help me say a big thank you to the Director General, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi for his support” he stated.