Minister mulls Maritime Academy of Nigeria to become degree awarding
The Hon. Minster of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the Maritime Academy of Nigeria could be upgraded into a degree awarding institution, considering the level of development to boost learning in the academy.
The minister stated this on Friday while commissioning the newly acquired Multifunctional Classroom, the Full Mission Bridge, and the Full Engine Room Simulators in the academy.
The Academy could become degree awarding as is with the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna, and the Police College in Kano. However, it is important to note that with the maritime, certificate of competency with regards to requirements of the Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping(STCW) is very crucial.
The minister commended the Rector of the Academy, Commodore Duja Emmanuel Effedua (Rtd.) on listening and putting to action suggestions for developing the academy, especially in building a strong faculty that is able to manage the academic demands.
His words: “Funding is not usually the problem of the academy because it gets five per cent of what NIMASA is generating. What the problem is, is capacity, ability to manage the academy. The good thing is that the rector listens. When I came here and saw the structures, I said anybody could do this, but what most people cannot do is faculty.
“I encouraged him to focus on the faculty, and I am glad to see that he has built and structured the faculty, putting in place the simulators. And then, I also asked him to please train his staff because, it is so shameful that this institution started the same time as the one in Egypt and Philippines and we are like a secondary school. And this is like where training manpower for the maritime sector takes place.
“So, coming here now, I said to him to see how this place could be upgraded. And the only way you can upgrade this place is improvement in faculty, expand on your infrastructure in things like building laboratories and other instruments used in maritime training. If he gets it right, application can be made to the National Universities Commission.”
Speaking on performance in the agencies under the his ministry, Amaechi said that the ministry would put in place a machinery to monitor the agencies for their performances, which should be guided by their set objectives for a given year.
The minister described the idea of evaluating the agencies’ performances as a takeaway from the experience at the academy, considering how well re-engineered the academy is now with infrastructure development, global-standard professional lectures and training equipment.
His words: “The ministry of transportation must set up a machinery by which they monitor their agencies, so that we know what objectives have been set out for anyone to achieve or what they have set out as objectives for themselves to achieve, while the ministry would ensure that they achieve all and sanction those who are not able to attain those achievements.
“What we are currently having is where agencies just perform without set standards to attainment of objectives. Some of them achieving what they set out to do, while some are not.
“For the Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, we are full of praises that he kept to his set objectives.”
Reviewing the need for standard in maritime education in the country, the minister said that it would be needful to have the Maritime Administration, which is in charge of approvals for private institutions in the discipline, sit with the ministry for talks to ensure that the requirements for quality training are met.