By DAPO OLAWUNI
The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) in collaboration with the Nigerian Merchant Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNOWTSSA) and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) under the Maritime Affiliation Support (MAS) Project,
are concluding plans to embark on a fact finding mission to all maritime training Institutions in Nigeria to ascertain the quality of manpower and facilities on ground.
Secretary of the merchant navy union, Comrade John Okpono gave the indication in an exclusive chat with DAILY TREND on Monday.
He also said that the union is paying a courtesy visit on the newly appointed Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo to lay before him the concerns of Nigerian Seafarers.
He said that some of the training Institutions that would be visited include; Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron Akwa Ibom State, the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko Delta State among others.
“Employment, Sea time and the Maritime institutions. When you talk about the Certificate of Competency (CoC) today, including class 1, 2 and it’s recognition, there is no order way to treat it order than looking at the human element and the institutions.
“There is no way a Bsc holder would be lecturing a Masters Degree holder in an academic set up. If we you want to award a degree program, you must have the facility on ground, and you must have the personnel who must have gotten the experience and higher degrees.
“Issuing class 1 or 2 in CoC is not just to wake up and start issuing, it depends on your level of facilities and quality personnel. What we as a union is looking at now is to upgrade the standard of the academics so that we can start issuing the certification.
“Plans are on the way to pay a visit to the Minister of Transportation, even on how to make our inland waterways more navigable.
“The Maritime Affiliation Support (MAS) Project, which is a project between the International Seafarers Trust Fund (ITF), the Nigerian Merchant Navy and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) have proposed a visit to MAN Oron, Okerenkoko and others to ensure that the facilities and personnel are on ground” he stated
Comrade Okpono also said the limitation on the COC issued by NIMASA with the clause; Near Coastal Voyage (NCV) was having negative effect and limitation on Nigerian merchant navy personnel who are very qualified.