By Godfrey Bivbere
ORONâ€”The Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Limited, NLNG, has donated high technology training facility, Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats, PSCRB, for training of cadets at the apex seafaring instituttion in the country, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, Oron, in Akwa Ibom State.
At the commissioning of the equipment in Oron, Minister of Transport, Alhaji Ibrahim Bio, said that the arrival of the facility would go a long way in broadening the knowledge base of students of the institution.
Bio charged the management of the institution â€œto utilise the opportunity offered now to increase its courses and award more certificates. This will enable the institution to always remain in the forefront of maritime education and training in Nigeria and indeed Africa.â€
The minister who was represented by Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Adefemisola Olayisade, noted that the NLNG gesture is an attestation to governmentâ€™s endorsement of Public/Private partnership and also commended the management of NLGN for its annual employment of cadets from the institution.
Speaking earlier, Rector of MAN, Oron, Mr. Nseyen Ebong, noted that the institution has been benefitting from NLNG since 2003 and that they have given MAN, Oron equipment worth over N100 million in the past before the present donation of the PSCRB facility.
Ebong said the PSCRB equipment includes, one set of 50 persons totally enclosed life boat, one set of six persons davit launched rescue boat and one set of twelve persons davit launched life-raft.
He said that the NLGN has engaged the services of over 100 ex-cadets of the institute since they began the partnership with MAN, Oron.
According to him, â€œThe Organisation has proved itself to be a good corporate citizen whose example others should quickly emulate if we are to fully realise vision 20:2020. On our part, we pledge to put to good use and properly maintain this and other facilities given to us by NLNG.â€
Managing Director of NLNG, Chima Ibeneche while speaking at the commissioning said that the manpower required to man the ships for moving LNG from our plant on Bonny Island to buyers across the world is quite high, but unfortunately, such expertise was not available locally until recently.
The NLNG boss who was represented by the General Manager fleet expansion, Captain Timilola Okesanjo, pointed out that their desire to have all their vessels crewed by Nigerian led to the partnership with MAN, Oron.
Hence, the provision of support by NLNG to MAN, Oron to train manpower for the industry…. At the moment, over 60 percent Nigerianisation has been achieved onboard BGT fleet of 13 LNG carriers. Three Nigerian Masters or Fleet Captains have emerged from this plan.â€
â€œA significant milestone was recorded in the programme in 2001 when the first set of 11 marine cadets recruited in 1998 graduated. They are now serving as senior and middle level officers on the NLNG fleet. NLNG now has over 139 Nigerian officers, 118 Cadets and Trainee Electrical Officers and 363 Nigerian ratings in its employment.