FG Mulls Sea Time Policy Framework For Cadets
…As Rector MAN Admonishes Graduating Cadets On Character
BY FUNMI ALUKO
The Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy has lamented the lack of sea time in bringing Nigerian cadets up speed with their course completion requirement, noting it is currently looking at the challenge with a view to finding a lasting solution aimed at raising the employment chances of seafarers.
The Honourable Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Gboyega Oyetola CON, who was speaking at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron during the 2023 Graduation Ceremony of 157 Cadets, assured that efforts are ongoing towards the release a policy framework that will address the lack of a training vessel for sea time.
This is even as the Rector MAN, Commodore Duja Effedua (Rtd) has reassured students and cadets, and indeed all Nigerians to dismiss disparaging rumour that the Academy has no international recognition as the handiwork of mischief makers and those not interested in the progress being made by the country.
Addressing the graduating cadets, the minister of marine and blue economy who was represented by the Director, Maritime Safety and Security, Babatunde Bombata extolled the cadets for their hard work and urged them to be forward looking and to make themselves available as the resource man capita for the nation’s nascent blue economy; which he says holds great potential for economic development and employment.
His words, “I am deeply honoured to stand before you today as we celebrate the remarkable achievement of the youthful men and women who are about to embark on a new chapter of their lives.
“Today is not just a day of graduation; it is a day of commencement, a day that symbolizes the dedication, hard work, and resilience that these cadets have exhibited throughout their rigorous training.
“To the graduating cadets, I extend my heartfelt congratulations. You have successfully navigated the challenges of the maritime academy, proving your mettle and commitment to this noble profession.
“As you stand on the threshold of a maritime career, remember that the sea is vast and unpredictable, much like the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Your training here has equipped you with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate these waters with precision and expertise.
“The maritime industry plays a pivotal role in the economic growth and development of our nation and it relies on individual like you to maintain the integrity and reputation of the industry.
“I also want to acknowledge the dedication of the staff of the Academy for their unwavering commitment to shaping the future leaders of our maritime sector. Your guidance has been instrumental in nurturing these cadets into skilled and responsible professionals.
“Let me also assure you that the commitment of this administration to the transformation of the maritime industry is genuine. It is considered as one of the key drivers of the renewed hope agenda, therefore, prioritizing the maritime sector is a strategic move that can yield multifaceted benefits, impacting economic, social, and environmental aspects while contributing to the overall development and competitiveness of a nation and can provide Economic Growth; Job Creation; Trade Facilitation; Diversification of the Economy.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I am still receiving briefing from both within and outside the Ministry on the issues of challenges of placing our cadets on sea-time and I assure you that a definite policy programme would be produced to resolve this.
“This would no doubt help in closing the gap for the manpower in the maritime sector. As you are aware, the present administration has created a new Ministry for Marine and Blue Economy with the aim of promoting sustainable harnessing of our ocean resources.
“Therefore, all hands must be on deck to reposition the Ministry in line with global best practices. In conclusion, I have full confidence that the graduating cadets will make significant contributions to the maritime industry, elevating its standards and fostering a culture of excellence. Your success will not only be a testament to your abilities but also a source of pride for our nation.”
In a heartfelt, fatherly prayer and warm wishes, the marine and blue economy minister enjoined them to remain steadfast and focus in the pursuit of diligence and a rewarding career in seafaring.
“Once again, congratulations to the Graduates, may your sails be filled with the winds of success, and may you navigate the seas of life with courage, integrity, and a steadfast commitment to excellence.”
Speaking earlier, Rector MAN charged the graduating cadets to continue to espouse high level professionalism, character, good conduct and humility wherever they find themselves.
Debunking the jaundiced runour that the Academy was not at par with foreign academies, Effedua said such talk could only be the pastime of those who do not wish the country good; and argued that MAN is ahead of majority of maritime training institutions worldwide.
He explained that in terms of faculty content and training facilities, the Academy has an edge over and is superior to most maritime training institutions around the world.
“Every course that is done abroad for pre-sea training is also done at the Academy and the facilities we have are first-class. We also offer simulator based courses which aren’t done in any other country in West Africa.
“Nigerian is presently on the White List of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and that too is on the strength of the capacity of MAN. Abuja MoU recognizes us, we have so many MAN Oron cadets all around the world.
“IMO has donated books frequently because they recognize us. We receive inquiry of confirmation from many countries overseas and Africa to know if certificate presented by cadets that have graduated from here is authentic and from us, once we say yes, that is all. As we speak talk is ongoing for expatriates to take up jobs at the Academy, if we are not recognized worldwide, how is it that foreigners are expressing interest to come here?”, he asked rhetorically.