The Nigerian Government has lamented the “weak” standard of the country’s maritime sector, saying the development had denied the nation abundant revenue that was been generated from the industry.
Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi, made the observation in Oron, Akwa Ibom State, shortly after commissioning some projects at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN).
In recognition of the economic importance of the maritime industry, however, Amaechi has pledged to equip the MAN, as well as training for its with personnel,with a view to harnessing its full potential.
“Our maritime industry is extremely weak, there are so many countries that are surviving on maritime, not on oil, everybody is focusing on oil here and my prayer is that, one day, this oil should finish so that we can begin to look inside and see how to grow the economy of our country”, Amaechi said.
Though, the former Governor of Rivers State, had regretted the lack of adequate attention to the maritime sector over the years he, nonetheless, commended the efforts of the current Rector of the Academy, Commodore Duja Effedua, saying, “the second phase of the report which you need to implement is the purchase of equipment.
“It is like Nigerian Universities, you have a bachelors of science degree in engineering, and you never met an equipment before, you can not fabricate a car engine, you don’t know what the car engine looks like, but if the ask you, you have a B.Sc in engineering”.
Amaechi further stated: “Like this student now, they look smart in their uniform, but if you ask them technical questions that originate from maritime, they would not be able to answer”.
“I think is it because the test them and realised these people are not equipped, they just ignore them. How many of you, your certificate are recognised outside Nigeria” he questioned.
“Recognition is being able to compete with Egypt, Ghana and other nations. It is Philippine! What they do is to export seafarers to your country, that is their economy, they export seafarers globally. We can’t even train for our own maritime industry”.
Earlier, the Rector of Maritime Academy,, Effedua, had disclosed that the Academy had ordered for simulators from India.
He said the equipment will arrive before the end of the year.
“But before then, we will send our staff to India to be trained were this equipments are being produced” adding that when the equipments arrives, “we would have people who will operate and maintain the simulators” he stated.
Stella Enenche, Abuja