By Ifeyinwa Obi
An aero-plane pilotÂ Â has enjoined the Federal Government not to neglect the nationâ€™s maritime sector, particularly shipping, stressing that only countries which were able to optimize its ocean endowments become great
Capt Enisuoh Warredi made the plea in Lagos, stating that maritime sector is as important as the aviation, and should therefore not be underrated by the authorities, if the nation actually has genuine intention of actualizing its 20:2020 dreams.
â€œThe Government must accord equal recognition to both the maritime and aviation sectors. Neither is less important. Both are very important to the development of our national economy. What one lacks the other has.Â Though the aviation has the advantage of fast delivery, no one should compare what the maritime can carry with that of aviationâ€ he pointed out, counseling Government on the need to pay more attention, especially in preparedness to pump funds into the sector.
Warred observed that while it is true that aviation as a result of its speed of deliverance and patronage by the movers and shakers of the society has given the edge to the aviation, studies have shown that all the developed countries of the world owed their greatness to the ocean, rather than the aviation, and expressed dissatisfaction that the Nigerian authorities have failed to lift the sector to the desired level.
â€œThe aviation has made far more progress than the maritime. The aviation is a well monitored industry. Before anything happens, everybody knows. But for ships, may be because ships are hidden partly from sight and their operations are hidden except when they cause ecological problems through accidents.
â€œThe policy in aviation has raised the stake especially in term of policy implementation. It takes a far longer time to train a mariner compared to a good aviator. It is not because the training for aviation is very easy, but because they are fast to change, and equally fast to implement. However in maritime industry, these may lie so dormant because there has not been equal policy monitoring.
â€œIf an aero plane comes down now, there is life lost. The nature of loss and the caliber of those affected often bring it to instant attention to public glare. But shipping disasters, though may be of greater dimension, they are however isolated. But they can nonetheless be very dangerous. So, Government should look into it in terms of enduring investment.
â€œThe aviator is more expensive to train. The time period is relatively short. The money you spend is not likely to be spent in the mariner. For aviator training involves: navigation, weather, and aero plane performance, whereas for the Mariner, you begin your training from cargo work. Training takes a longer time. Itâ€™s like attending the university, because the ship is constantly under the attacks of the sea and inclement weather.
â€œI have fought fire in the middle of the ocean for five daysâ€ he said recalling his days a master mariner, before going into aviation to become a aero plane pilot.