By Godwin Oritse
THE Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, (NAMM), has expressed concern over the over-lapping functions of the various maritime agencies in Nigeria, adding that the development portends absence of strategic maritime policy.
Speaking at its quarterly meeting in Lagos, the association’s president, Captain Joseph Awodeha, said the absence of a strategic maritime policy has not only led to under-development of the maritime industry, but has denied Nigeria international partnership.
He further noted that the lack of strategic policy has led to all sorts of unwholesome practice and confusion which only benefit some people. Awodeha also called on the government to commence a strategic training programme for practitioners in the maritime industry as a succession plan for the ageing professionals. He was particular about the Nigerian cadets that are currently undergoing training in various maritime academies around the world.
The retired shipping captain lamented the transfer of theoretical knowledge without the opportunity of having the practical aspect of the training. He stated: “There is no point in sending cadets abroad for training and at the end of the training, the cadet does not have the practical experience to carry out the job he has been trained in. There are so many cadets that have been trained abroad but they cannot perform their duties as marine officers- or engineers because of the absence of practical knowledge. So they have come in with academic qualification but no professional competence. In other words, until we do that, we have not spent monies well on the training of the cadets, they are half baked, they are not complete officers yet.”