Story by Seun Ibiyemi
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency’s (NIMASA) late allocation of five per cent revenue to Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron has continued to cripple its infrastructure deve-lopment, activities, our correspondent gathered.
Nigerian NewsDirect gathered during the week that the absence of proper funding has led to arrays of uncompleted buildings, dilapidated hostels dotting the landscape of the academy, lack of simulators for training and ocean-going vessels.
The Maritime Academy of Nigeria is Nigeria’s premier maritime institution, charged with the responsibility of training all levels of manpower to man Merchant Navy Ships, Ports, Maritime Engineering Workshops, Pilotage, Shipyards and other Marine-related industries.
But, the academy which had trained about 4,300 Nigerian Merchant Navy officers since inception out of 50,000 seafarers that are needed for the Nigerian shipping industry to realize its full potential is living in the shadow of itself due to lack of proper funding.
The academy apart from fees it charges cadets, gets funding from five per cent of the three per cent freight levy from the NIMASA which industry stakeholders said are not enough to fund a nautical college.
Hitherto the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi speaking after the commissioning at the academy recently said the Interim Management Committee (IMC) set up to reposition the academy in 2017 had complained about the poor application of resources, poor academic environment and numerous abandoned projects, which had stunted the growth of the academy.
“The government must enable the Academy to do that and key into that. We must also train our people. We must send our people out for training because those from oversees will desire special funds and will not still wait back, so we have to send our people out for training. The Academy should sponsor its workers for Masters and PhD courses.”
Speaking with Nigerian NewsDirect a senior staff of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron who claims anonymity said that the five per cent statutory allocation from NIMASA is yet to come
“The institution is to fund itself from the allocation given by NIMASA to the academy but the first quarter is gone and we haven’t receive d2019 allocation, adding same thing happens in 2018, the fund doesn’t come on time and that is why the academy is still struggling in terms of getting quality equipment, lecturers and others
Recall that in 2007, an Act was passed that required that five per cent of funds from regulatory agencies like the NIMASA be remitted to the Academy.
Following the need to upgrade the Institution as well as the NIMASA Management’s policy of ensuring that the sector does not suffer from the dearth of trained and certified seafarers the Agency is willing to go beyond its statutory funding of the institution in order to ensure certificates issued by the MAN Oron are of international repute
However, from our findings, it has been discovered that such donations hardly ever come or are unduly belated such that when or if they eventually come, the purpose may have been defeated.