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NIMASA winds down seafarers’ devt programme soon …Stakeholders; Maritime Academy slashes cadets’ admission by 90% mull alternative measures

NIMASA winds down seafarers’ devt programme soon …Stakeholders mull alternative measures
Godwin Oritse November 7, 2018

THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, is considering scrapping the National Seafarers Development Programme, NSDP.

Speaking to Vanguard Maritime Report at the 2018 Pass-Out Parade, PoP, graduation ceremony of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, NIMASA’s Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Engr Rotimi Fashakin, said that the NSDP was an interventionist programme meant to immediately address the dearth of sailors in Nigeria. Fashakin also said that the programme was not meant to be a permanent one, adding that emphasis will now be on sea time training for seafarers that are yet to get such training. He said: “You will understand clearly that the NSDP programme has been an interventionist programme, it was not meant to be a permanent feature of the maritime structure in the country. “Be that as it may, it means that at one time or the other, we will begin to wind down on it and concentrate on ensuring sea time for those that need.

“You heard part of the statement earlier in the day that about 5,000 seafarers are still waiting for their sea time training. “So that is where the emphasis shall be so that Nigeria can reap the benefits of merchantile marine”. But the President of Nigeria Association of Master Mariners, NAMM, Captain Joseph Ahodeha, said that the NSDP has failed in its objective to produce quality seafarers. Ahodeha also said that the backlog of seafarers that have not had sea time experience should be dealt with before scrapping the programme. He stated: “The NSDP programme has failed, there is no need to send cadets abroad for training anymore. “They need to clear the backlog before they think of scrapping the programme.

Maritime training was never meant to be mass production of cadets without proper arrangement for their sea time training. But first of all they must clear the backlog they created”. Former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Chief Adebayo Sarumi, toldVanguard Maritime Report that the scrapping should be a gradual process. A lecturer at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Engr Richard Owolabi, suggested that half of what is spent on the NSDP cadets should be used to purchase a training vessel so as to give these cadets the sea time training they needed.

Maritime Academy slashes cadets’ admission by 90%
BAYO AKOMOLAFE November 7, 2018

Gross infrastructural gaps, acute shortage of qualified personnel and lack of sea time training have compelled the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) to scaledown admission of cadets. BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports

When it was established in 1979, the objective was to train shipboard officers, nautical and marine engineers, ratings and shore-based management personnel to serve the maritime community locally and internationally.

Nine years after, the academy got another mandate to expand and train all categories of workers in the country’s maritime industry.

By the end of 2008, the institution had trained about 4,300 merchant navy officers and more than 65,000 other workers in marine engineering, nautical science, maritime transport and business studies, ship building, port operations, marine insurance, maritime law, maritime security and other specialised maritime courses.


However, the trend has changed, as the academy has become a shadow of itself. The travails the institution is facing have ridiculed the Federal Government’s capacity building in the maritime industry due to decadent infrastructure, unqualified lecturers, political and ethnic rivalry among others.

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has, however, promised to fully equip its multimedia classrooms, fire training grounds, custom purpose built swimming pool and simulation centre.

Currently, MAN lacks training vessels for the mandatory sea-time training, which qualifies its cadets to receive Certificate of Competency (CoC) that will permit them to work onboard vessels.


It was learnt that while the Philippines, India, Russia and other countries make huge earnings from seafaring; Nigeria has been producing half baked cadets, who are not employable.

In the pursuit of their passion, some of the cadets were forced to sit on bare floor to receive lectures.

Other challenges of the academy are poor staffing, underfunding, poor management, training equipment, training vessel and Radar Arpa Simulators (RAS).

At the academy, it was learnt that there were too many officers, who are handicapped in discharging their duties effectively.


The President of Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Greg Ogbeifun, had noted that the demise of the Nigeria National Shipping Line (NNSL) contributed to the problem of the school.
For instance, he said that the disappearance of fleet of vessels that provided sea-time training opportunities for cadets led to a huge gap in maritime human capacity development in Nigeria.

The president added that there was no articulated programme to ensure effective link between the institution and the existing fleet of vessels in the country’s maritime domain.

He recalled that the cadets from the academy were automatically exposed to a 12-month mandatory sea-time onboard the various vessels operated by the NNSL and this gave birth to well-seasoned professionals, who have been manning sensitive positions in the maritime industry.

Ogbeifun faulted Federal Government’s training of seafarers abroad, adding that the training of seafarers and cadets was the responsibility of ship owners and shipping companies.

Worried by the inadequacies, MAN’s Rector, Commodore Duja Effedua (rtd), said that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) was gradually losing hope in Nigeria producing quality seafarers.

He complained that the academy still depended on some phased out equipment acquired 25 years ago at its foundry shops to train students.

It was revealed that the academy had no capacity to award a Class 1 Certificate of Competency (CoC) to its graduates because of inadequate facilities.

New cadets’ admission

Due to these challenges, the rector said at a summit recently in Lagos that it would no longer be business as usual, as the school had resolved to cut down the number of student intakes for this year’s admission.

Effedua said that the decision to cut the intakes from 2,000, which have been the average intakes over the years, to 200 students was as a result of gross infrastructural gap and dearth of qualified lecturers.

According to him, student-lecturer ratio is about one lecturer to 200 students.

Effedua said in Lagos that gone were the days when cadets were admitted based on affiliation to somebody.

He said: “What the academy produces is quantity and not quality. For instance, we use to take between 1,200 and 2,000 cadets per stream. That will not happen anymore. We are taking only 88 cadets for national diploma and for the higher national diploma 150.

“We want to manage what we can handle and ensure that they do not go out flooding the labour market at the end of the day,” he said.


Presently, he said that the academy was looking for qualified lecturers to drive the institute.

Effedua noted: “We are remodeling the classrooms, hostels and libraries. We are also building a new simulation centre, which Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has pledged to help us equip and the agency has asked us to set up a three man committee to discuss it.”

The rector said that the academy was partnering NIMASA to ensure that the training facilities at Oron were in line with internationally acceptable specifications to attain compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training and Watch-keeping for Seafarers (STCW 1978) as amended in 2010.

Already, NIMASA has commenced the process of equipping a new simulation centre and equipment for training of cadets to ensure that Certificates of Competencies (CoCs) are issued in order to attain global recognition before the end of the 2019 academic session

Also, the academy’s Board Chairman, Mr. Ademola Seriki, proposed that the school should embark on free training of stakeholders who would in turn provide the needed equipment to the institution.

He also called for expansion of the school’s laboratory to make the facility more conducive for the cadets as well as equipping of the e-library and the ICT resource centre.

Seriki stressed the need to arrest the deteriorating state in line with its mandate and core values.

He said that the academy should partner with all relevant stakeholders to enable it meet international standard.

Also, Effedua stated that restructuring and repositioning the school was the only solution to move it forward.

Last line

Without adequate funding, the academy would continue to recycle its burden.