…Says Maritime Academies Producing Substandard Cadets
An Assistant Director at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Capt Ibikunle Olayiwola has expressed anger at classification societies registering old and substandard ships to trade within West African waters.
Classification societies are important group of organisations that exert considerable influence on the design, construction and safety of ships.
Capt Ibikunle who is a master mariner stated this at a stakeholders forum in Lagos on Tuesday.
He also said that majority of Nigerian cadets produced out of maritime academies are quacks who were not well trained on the rudiments of seafaring profession, he said that this has continued to give Nigeria a bad image globally.
He alleged that classification societies issuing certificates to substandard vessels is what has affected Nigerian seafarers from being marketable globally because they are getting standard training.
According to him “The classification societies should be honest by not giving certificate to substandard ships, when you look at the ships that sail within the West Africa, you would see that some of these ships supposed not to be trading anymore”
“When you are now sending a cadet for training or training an ordinary seaman, when you send them to a substandard ship, instead of them to receive a standard training, they would receive substandard training and they would not be marketable in any part of the world”
“Classification societies are assisting substandard ships to resurface, they are not helping us to produce standard officers” Capt Kunle insisted.
He also said that the challenge of getting standard lecturers at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron needs to be tackled headlong.
He argued that getting master mariners and marine engineers to come onboard as lecturers at MAN Oron is the only thing that would boost the academy’s standard of examination.
DAILY TREND recalls that the MAN Oron had said it was shopping for foreign lecturers.
Speaking, the NIMASA Assistant Director said “The maritime academy problem is another that must be addressed, this problem is to get standard master mariners and ship engineers to be in that school as lecturers, also, these people would encourage the flag administration so that the standard of examination can be raised, and by this we would have standard cadets coming out of our schools”
Nigerian Cadets Still Half Baked
Capt Ibikunle while reacting at the event which was organised to mark the Seafarers Day 2019 gave an account of his experience with a Nigerian seafarer who supposedly posses a Class 3 Certificate of Competency (COC)
He said “Before he came onboard the ship, he was vomiting and all sorts of things, I asked him to go and sleep and the following day, he came.
“I pointed to a radar and asked him what it was, but he said it is a television, this is somebody that is having class 3 Certificate of Competency, he couldn’t fix a position on the ship, so what is he coming to do on the ship? to make me as the Captain do 48 hours work?
“These are the problems we are facing in Nigeria, when we send a seafarer to a ship they go there and fumble from number 1 person to number 10, so how are you going to look at the standard people?
“If ten of you as Nigerians come onboard my ship and you fumbled, automatically I will classify all Nigerians to be the same, so these are the problems we are facing in Nigeria, our seafarers should be well trained, not only to have the certificate”
“Even when we are classifying master mariners, we have master mariners that have never captained a ship before, and we have those who have done so, this is what is happening in our country”
“We must ensure that training schools train these children properly and they pass through the process of obtaining their certificate in a standard form” he said
The Nigerian Association of Master Mariners in January 2019 presented Captain Ibikunle Olayiwola with a five year membership certificate and an identification card in recognition of his contributions to the maritime sector.