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Maritime Academy: Lack of Vessel Mars Training of Over 5,000 Nigerian Cadets

Strong indications emerged that no fewer than 5, 000 Nigerian cadets mainly trained at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, Oron Akwa Ibom State is currently roaming the streets more than 11 years after their training.

Rector of the academy, Mr. Joshua Okpo, who spoke in a recent interview in Oron, hinted that more than 11 years after the completion of their cadetship training at the academy, no fewer than 5,000 trained indigenous cadets are yet to complete their training process and become gainfully employed due to the absence of atraining vessel.

The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certificate and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, STCW, 1978 of the International Maritime Organisation, IMO, prescribes a one-year mandatory sea time training on board ocean going vessels as a pre-requisite for the issuance of Certificate of Competence.

According to him, efforts by the management of the academy before now to secure a training vessel for these young men and women to complete their training programme and become gainfully employed has not worked out due to the high cost associated with the owning and running such a vessel.

He also disclosed that since the government has not been able to provide a training vessel for the cadets, the academy has developed another method of getting them on board ocean going ships for their mandatory practical training.

Under a new scheme created by the IMO, the academy is currently working with some shipping companies based in Istanbul, Turkey and Philippines to provide training spaces for about 250 Nigerian cadets at an estimated cost of N2.2billion annually for the training of no fewer than 250 cadets.

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