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Master Mariners charge FG to address duplication of functions by maritime agencies

…bemoan lack of seatime training for
Nigerian cadets

The Nigerian
Association of Master Mariners (NAMM) has called on the Federal Government to put
an end to the problem of duplication of functions across the several agencies
of government concerned in the maritime industry.

President, NAMM, Capt. Joseph Awodeha


President of
the NAMM, Capt. Joseph  Awodeha made the
call in Lagos at the weekend during the association’s quarterly paper
presentation made by Retired Rear Admiral Godwill Ombo, with the theme
“Coastguards and Navies: The roles and responsibilities of the Nigerian Navy.”


Awodeha said
there had been an obvious waste both economically and in human resources
engagement as the agencies of government in the maritime industry engage in
overlapping functions.

To that end,
Awodeha said there is need for the federal government to review the acts
establishing the different maritime agencies of government in order to assign
specific functions to them.

The agencies
include the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Maritime
Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the National Inland Waterways Authority
(NIWA), as well as the Nigerian Navy, due to some functions they undertake.

Awodeha
said: “We are suggesting to the government to revisit all the different acts of
these agencies, so that they apportion responsibilities specifically to the
different agencies.

“It is
important, so that there is no confusion in implementation, and that we don’t
waste resources duplicating our efforts while other areas are suffering.”

Speaking on
the issue of  seatime training for  the Nigerian cadets, the NAMM President said
it is disappointing that several cadets who were sent overseas for training
came back without practical seatime experience.

He said the
situation needs to be checked and corrected now if the Nigerian cadets expect
to serve as professional mariners both locally and internationally.

“There is no
point to send somebody abroad to train and at the end of the training he has no
practical experience to carry out the job.

“So many
cadets have been trained abroad but they have no practical experience to enable
them function as marine engineers or professionals, which is needed to do the
job.

“So, they
just come back with academic qualification. But, until they get the seatime
training they are not complete officers yet,” Awodeha said.

Ombo, had in
his paper, highlighted the functions of the Nigerian Navy in ensuring maritime
domain security by defending the nation’s territorial waters as well as
protecting the economic zones.

He said that
as part of the navy’s policing functions on water, it engages in “anti-piracy
and illegal bunkering patrols, including internal security operations that are
primarily asymmetric and rapidly changing, alone and in conjunction with  sister service.”

Ombo,
however, noted that the navy could do much more to contain the numerous
challenges evolving in Nigeria’s maritime environment, but that “she is
currently seriously hampered by inadequate presence at sea.   

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