By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said that the agency has put mechanism in place to investigate allegations purportedly made by the Rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron Akwa Ibom State, Duja Efedua that the academy is being frustrated by some NIMASA staff in their Certificate of Competency (COC) exams.
Effedua few weeks ago reportedly pointed accusing fingers on some ex-cadets of MAN Oron working at NIMASA, de-marketing developmental efforts of his management.
He had said the conspiracy against the Academy is not from the leadership of NIMASA but by some staff members who passed through the Academy as Cadets.
According to him, the NIMASA staff are favouring private maritime academies because of pecuniary gains.
But while addressing journalists in Lagos recently, Dr. Peterside said the Rector must have been quoted out of context, adding that success of any cadet in Certificate of Competency (COC) exams cannot be determined by any individual.
He said NIMASA has put in place an in-house mechanism to investigate the allegations.
“I read it in one online media and I plan to take it up with the Rector of Man Oron, I am very sure that he was quoted out of context”
“COC exams are not centered on any individual, there are different levels of moderation, no one person can determine the final outcome of the COC exam, the reason is that there would be oral and written exams and there are all sorts of moderators observing it, so no individual can determine the final outcome”
“Man Oron and other training institutions are to train cadets while NIMASA conducts the exam. The secondary schools train students to seat for exams while WAEC conducts the exam, it is not possible for any institution to say that WAEC deliberately failed their students.
As MAN Oron is presenting students for examinations, other institutions are also presenting cadets for the examination”
“A lot of factors determines the success rate and not a single individual”
“We have since put in place an in-house mechanism to investigate the allegation, whether he made the allegation or not, we have put mechanisms in place, I intend to take it up with him”
“There are three classes of people involved, NIMASA as the principal, an expert brought in by NIMASA and the institutions themselves as observers, it is multilayered” he said
While reacting to complaints by Nigerian seafarers that the Certificate of Competency issued by NIMASA does not have any international recognition due to a clause “Near Costal Voyage” written on it, Peterside NIMASA COC is not inferior to any other one around the world.
According to him, limited or unlimited certificates are governed by the STCW Convention, an International Maritime Organization (IMO) instrument which stipulates conditions to meet in issuing the COC.
He said “the most important thing is that the Nigerian COC is as good as any other COC, but we are working very hard to improve the COC we are issuing, nothing bars us from issuing one form of COC or the other once we comply with provisions of the STCW”
“You can be sure that this is a work in progress and Nigerian COC is not inferior to any other COC, but all COC are not the same”
Peterside said NIMASA is working with a number of training institutions to improve their curriculum, training infrastructures and the quality of instructions that cadets are given.