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Maritime Academy of Nigeria has positioned for sustainable excellence- Seriki, Chairman Governing Council

Chairman Governing Council of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Mr. Ademola Serike(Middle) , to his immediate right, the Rector of the Academy, Commodore Emmanuel Effedua, with members of the Academy’s Governing Council after a media chat in Lagos on Monday. 

Bearing its long –term restructuring to ensure availability of training
infrastructure and human capacity building for lecturers, who train the cadets
at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom, the Governing Council of
the Academy and the Management Team have expressed satisfaction and confidence
of what the Academy can offer in terms of global standard training of seafarers
to meet industry manpower needs.

In this chat, Chairman of the Governing Council, Mr. Ademola Serike, who
spoke at a news briefing in Lagos, said the Academy, under the watch of the Rector,
Commodore Emmanuel Effedua(Rtd) has prepared itself with requisite resources to
give the best maritime training to seafarers, who would be knowledgeable and
well-equipped to take on job demands globally satisfactorily.   

The chairman spoke in-depth on issues of interest and stated how the
academy plans to sustain its efforts at overall training excellence for
manpower needs in the maritime industry.   
Restructuring of the Academy
Man, Oron is driven today by the
management and board governing council that is passionate about marks of
excellence.
The passion and empathy for the
academy in terms of the cadets and nothing extra but the willingness to engage
the government. Today, the academy s funded by not just government, but from
quarters where they support the excellence of the academy. I just learnt now
that we are being given two boats by the Nigerian Navy, to use for training. It
is not just about writing in the classroom, but getting involved using the
facilities such as the boats for practical learning. Now, we have simulators
and the training vessels being undertaken actually resulted from the zeal we
have built between the governing council and the management, so that the credit
goes to the members and the rector and the management team.

How soon are the training vessels being expected?
The training vessel has been
under the desire of the academy through a third party social responsibility.
There is an agency known as Oil Producers Trade Sector (OPTS) and we have
spoken to them, and really it is just a matter of concluding the matter with
them and deliverables will just be made. It does not take a rocket science, it
is just the passion.
The ministry does not have such
money to give us training vessels. We had to look out as to who can provide
this for us, and we have been considering all necessary areas; personally, I am
talking to Mr. Tony Attah of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas(LNG), I am talking
to the OPTS and they are ready to use the little they can afford to give to us.
They are ready to help us. It is not government only that would survive the
academy.

The ongoing capacity building programme for staff?
Global accreditation is what we
know we have to step up our game for. Even, the category we are fighting for
has to do with what the academy human capacity and training. The 15 teaching
staff sent on training on how to handle the simulators would come back well
built in the capacity for handling simulators, and more staff would go. It is
part of capacity building. You cannot compare where we are today to where the
academy was three years ago. We have been able to build all these. The right
drive is actually growing and sustaining the academy.

How confident should it be to say there may be no need sending cadets
abroad for the seatime training again?
If we have what it takes locally,
in terms of infrastructure, to train the cadets, then there would be a need for
that. There is no way academy would have simulators and training vessels that
it cannot survive on its own. In fact, those foreign training would come as
gratis, because we would be competing with our international counterparts. When
I got back two years ago to the academy, my concern was the performance,
because after this time, people would ask you what you achieved. I want to look
back and say we were able to have training vessels and simulators because they
are key in the training of the cadets for them to have rich capacity. And with
that, they can be exposed to a lot of things and they would have jobs. The
domino effect of it is limitless.

On seatime collaboration with local shpiowners?
Our cadets have started having
sea experience with the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria(SOAN) and they spent four months. The last batch of cadets
just got back on 20th December, 2019.

Review of funding?
We are due to five per cent of
the gross revenue from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
As long as that is paid, there should not be a problem. Yet, no institution is
fully funded by government alone in any African country. We are not where we
want to be yet, that is why we are looking to possible areas of support, like
the IOCs, because they are the drivers of OPTS. So, they have some soft money
meant for human capacity development, so we tap into that for the support we
can get. MAN, Oron has never sought such money.

Impression about the Best Maritime Training Institution Award?
The award is well appreciated.
But to whom much is given, much is expected. We have been given the opportunity
among the council members and the Rector who is the driver of our feat. I am a
proud MAN, Oron Governing Board Chairman, and with my members we say thank you
and we will not be complacent. When you are given an award, it is a challenge
to step up your game. I thank the Rector for being up to the task given him and
has laid a standard others would aspire to keep up with.

 Maintenance provision for the
simulators?
I am sure there would be service
agreement, so nothing to be afraid of regarding maintenance of the equipment.

How can these latest upgrade in the Academy support Nigeria’s quest for
a council position in the IMO?
This is a segment of the IMO
consideration; human capacity and training. It is not the entire evaluation to
determine the category. In any case, the category is political because there
are permanent members. It is just like the Security Council of the United
Nations. We in Africa must step up our game so we can compete with
international counterparts.

Future plans for the Academy?
The future beholds on our
aspiration, which is limitless. Step by step, we have to continue. By this time
next year, there would be more improvement.

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