Sweet Crude

November 5, 2013

120 Bayelsa cadets to study in the Philippines

By Samuel OYADONGHA

It was a dream-come-true for some 120 cadets from Bayelsa State, as they left the shores of Nigeria for the Republic of Philippines on a five year study course related to the maritime industry, even as the state proposes a Maritime Academy to boost internal revenues.

Drawn from the eight local government areas of the state, the cadets are to major in marine engineering, nautical engineering and naval architecture under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme.

The training, Sweetcrude learnt is sponsored by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

At an orientation workshop held for the cadets in Yenagoa, the state capital before their departure for the Philippines, the Commissioner for Science, Technology and Manpower Development, Mr. Parkinson Macmanuel, said the partnership with NIMASA is part of the government’s resolve to develop manpower in critical areas in the maritime sector, in which the Bayelsa State had comparative advantage.

The commissioner expressed the hope that in five years time, the investments would start yielding fruits.

“This gesture is in line with the state of emergency in the education sector earlier declared by Governor Seriake Dickson administration to invest in manpower development in critical areas by creating the enabling environment and vistas of opportunities for the youths, irrespective of their background to maximize their full potentials,” he said.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs. Philomena Aladei, the commissioner noted that the cadets were selected on merit, having met the requisite requirement.

He explained that both the selection and medical examinations were carried out by NIMASA, while those who failed the medicals were dropped.

While urging the cadets to utilize the opportunity effectively, the commissioner said the future of maritime sector in Nigeria lies with them, and called on them to avoid acts capable of derailing their set goals. According to him, automatic employment in NIMASA and other maritime agencies awaits successful cadets on the completion of their courses.

Also speaking, a former member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Target Sekibo, urged the cadets to consider themselves privileged to study abroad and urged them not to betray the trust and investments put on them. He also admonished them to be disciplined and to stay focused and see themselves as torch bearers of their families and ambassadors of Bayelsa State and Nigeria.

Responding on behalf of the cadet, Sidon Charles Angaye, expressed appreciation to the state government and NIMASA, for availing them the opportunity to further their education abroad and promised to make good use of the opportunity by coming out in flying colors.

The cadets were given orientation on immigration laws in the Republic of Philippines, rights and conduct of seafarers and implication of the use and dealing on illicit drugs.

Gains of maritime academy

On its proposed Maritime Academy, the state said this will generate foreign exchange earnings for the country and boost the state’s internally generated revenue.

It also added that the institution which is earmarked for Okpoama on the Atlantic fringe of the state, when completed would be managed by the Polish Government to enable it recoup its 60m Euros Development Support Facility released for the project.

Dismissing the claim that the fund is a loan facility, the State Commissioner for Finance, Duate Iyabi said it was a Tied-Aid-Credit from the Polish Government.

The Commissioner noted that the issue was raised during a bilateral meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and the visiting Poland President in Abuja recently. Noting the economic benefits of the Academy not only to the state but the entire country as a whole, he said the Federal Government gave its support for the project.