- As MAN Oron declares 7 days of mourning
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is set to certify Officers and Ratings of the Nigerian Navy in line with the requirements of Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW).
This was made known by the Director General of the Agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside when the Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) Rear Admiral Ifeola Ogunmola Mohammed led a delegation to NIMASA.
The DG who said that training was pivotal to the development of an excellent officer also assured the FOC that the Agency will immediately commence the process of certifying the officers and ratings of the Nigerian Navy who have satisfied all the requirements.
According to him, “training is the way to go in order to ensure professionalism in responding to marine incidences. If we must achieve our shared objective of securing our maritime sector, synergy is key and as the Regional Coordinator for Search and Rescue in West and Central Africa, we have to ensure that our training conforms to the needs of protecting our maritime space”.
The DG who said that the Agency welcomes the suggestion by NAVTRAC to train some of NIMASA personnel further assured the Navy of continuous collaboration for the overall growth and development of the Nigerian maritime industry.
Earlier in his remarks, Rear Admiral Mohammed called on NIMASA as the Agency in charge of certification of seafarers to certify officers and ratings of the Nigerian Navy trained by NAVTRAC so as to become useful to the maritime industry even after retirement from the Navy.
The FOC also reeled out areas of cooperation between NIMASA and the Flag Command to include training in search and rescue operations and Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). He said the Navy has dedicated ships and simulators amongst other relevant training equipment which NIMASA staff can take advantage of.
In his words, “we will need to synergize with NIMASA in some specific training such as Search and Rescue type training, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) training and other relevant trainings which would make officers competent and rise to the challenges that can be faced during the course of working at sea now and after retirement”.
Rear Admiral Mohammed agreed with Dr. Peterside that NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy operate in the same jurisdiction and therefore there is the need for the two Agencies to foster a closer working relationship and understanding for the benefit of securing the Nigerian maritime domain.
In the meantime, Maritime industry stakeholders are still in shock over the death of the Acting Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) in Oron Akwa Ibom State, Engr. Anthony Ishiodu yesterday.
Some of them who spoke with Shipping Position Daily yesterday wondered if the deaths were ordinary or there were other things beyond the ordinary to it, considering the fact that Engr. Ishiodu’s predecessor; Joshua Okpo also died mysteriously.
But, the Academy also yesterday confirmed that the late Rector had actually been battling with a health challenge and that he only recently travelled abroad to seek help.
According to a statement from the Academy’s public relations department, “about five weeks ago the Acting Rector proceeded to England for treatment, after having been granted special permit to do so by the Federal Government, and returned to Nigeria in less than a forthright ago.
He was being expected to resume work when the sad news of his demise struck Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron as thunderbolt”. The statement added that the Academy’s community had to cut short its prayer session as soon as news filtered in that the Rector had passed on.
It added that it was the Registrar of the institution, Mr. M. A. Mkpandiok, who “informed the Management that the Head of the institution could not overcome the ailment he suffered from. He lamented the unfortunate incident, even as members of the Management Team present expressed shock at the devastating news”.
Reacting to the death of Ishiodu, a former president of the Merchant Navy Senior Staff Association, Capt Thomas Kemewerigha lamented the death of the rector, saying that death is a natural occurrence and a price every man must pay.
“The Rector has played his role and he is gone, whoever is coming next should toe the line of the positive actions he had in mind, we saw the handwriting on the wall that he was to take Oron to greater height”.
“The change of hands or heads of parastatals affect our growth in the maritime sector, so whoever is coming on-board should not come with new programmes, he should rather go back and access what the last rector had in mind so that we can have continuity”.
“His death is a big setback to the industry because he is one man we saw working for the interest of the academy”.
“Every death has a name, something must kill somebody, in this part of the world we so much believe in our tradition so high that people might believe their own person must be made Rector of the Academy”
“The longest serving rector which is from Oron did not really take the academy to where it should be before he was removed”, he added.
Capt Kemewereigha said that the Oron community sees the academy as their own personal resources; hence governance should look inwards and appoint a professional from the area to head MAN Oron.
Also speaking with our correspondent, President of Association of Stevedoring Companies, Mr. Bolaji Sunmola said it was unfortunate that MAN Oron lost two rectors in such a quick succession.
“It’s unfortunate that the rector died, coming from the background that the one he replaced also died suddenly in office. I commiserate with the family and I say may his soul rest in peace” he said
Sunmola however lamented that MAN Oron as an academy has not been living up to expectation and this was why people seek training outside Nigeria.
The Rector was the first ex-cadet to have risen to the high office of Rectorship in the institution.
He was appointed Acting Rector in mid-December, 2015 following the sudden demise of his predecessor in office, Ambassador Joshua Enun Okpo. In his seven months on the saddle, late Dr. Ishiodu steered the Academy’s ship in the direction of System Sanitization, the projection, promotion and enhancement of Cadets’ Affairs and Curricula Review.
Engr. Anthony Ishiodu was a pioneer ex-cadet of the School of Marine Engineering , he was also trained in the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Alexandria, Egypt.
He further obtained his Ph.D in the specialty of Maritime Transport from the University of Calabar, Cross River State.
He was a Staff of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) before joining the Academy in 2000.
Shipping Day with additional report from Shipping Position