By Dapo Olawuni
About seventeen seafarers have been trained and graduated at the Merchant Marine Training Academy, a subsidiary of the Merchant Navy Directorate in Apapa Lagos.
The course, according to the Rector of the academy, Capt Abel Ogah is to equip Nigerian seafarers with the needed intelligence and understanding of enormous business opportunities available in the maritime environment.
He added that the purpose of the course is to equip people with knowledge about the maritime environment, and to let them know that there are enormous opportunities in the maritime environment.
According to the revered captain, intelligence is the ability to extract facts and the truth about what is available to you and not based on hearsay, so that you can speak with fact, intelligence is about fact and not rumors”
“We are maritime specialists trying to educate people on what is obtainable on our waters, it is easier this way than for them to read it”
“We train them in batches, between 10 and 16, mass production is one of the major problems in this country, if you must produce people then you should produce people that would have benefits, not the band wagon that everybody would just go into the place, here we believe in standard”
“In this set we have 10 people on induction training, and 8 people that were trying to update their knowledge of what they have gained before. It is a continual thing, if you leave training for a while, the knowledge might leave you, so from time to time, we revalidate what they have learnt and use the opportunity to train new students.
Speaking with our Nigeriamaritime360.com in Apapa yesterday, one of the course participants, Etibe-Abassi Isaac described the course as highly intensive one that lasted for about one week.
According to him, the knowledge impacted on the participants cannot be obtained even in a year’s training in other maritime academies in Nigeria.
“So far as a seaman, I have undergone various training programmes, but I must tell you that none of them is as intensive as this, the training is fully pact, every seafarer in this country needs to undergo this training because if you don’t, you are incomplete”
“The training varies from seamanship marine signal, strategic business intelligence and leadership.
As merchant navy personnel, we are business men, we are the business arm of the Navy, without us, the economy of this country is zero, over 90% of the economy of Nigeria rely on the maritime sector, and if you are not trained on strategic business intelligence, you cannot compete”
Most sailors go onboard and come back with mega money, but check them out after one year, they are back in the street begging, but with this training on business intelligence and strategic business intelligence 1&2, with the little you have, you can reproduce and overturn it and discover that in a very short while, you would no longer depend on your basic salary, but your investment will be growing.
Etibe explained that apart from regular seamen, other freshers also participated in the training.
He added apart from training received in other maritime academies, seafarers enroll for the course because of the quality of instruction at the academy.
Also commending the program, able Seaman Dominic said the course helps to build a carrier for seafarers at home even when they are not at sea.
“The course has enlightened us as seamen on how to invest on good businesses even while still practicing our profession”
“The training also made us understand our rights as a merchant navy, the difference between us and the defense navy is revealed”
“The industry was so bad that Nigerian Navy was oppressing the merchant Navy, but with this training, we now understand our rights as trained merchant navy personnel”
“Defense navy as meant to protect the country territorial waters while the Merchant Navy is meant to trade or to serve on commercial vessels in and out of the country, the Merchant Navy is like an ambassador outside the country. There are certain rights the merchant Navy has that the defense navy do not have, they don’t have opportunity of going round the globe while in service”
“Most of them humiliating merchant navy is because of ignorance, they don’t know what they are doing, because after their military training they would still fall back to merchant navy”
One of the course instructors, Miss Iwu Sandra said that courses offered at the Merchant Marine Academy is verse and not obtainable in other institutions including Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron.
“In the marine industry, the basic thing one has to know is that without knowledge, you cannot be competent, if you are trained, you cannot know your left from your right”
Iwu explained that after the classes, the participants go for the practicals including familiarisation onboard ships and surviving technology. She said the academy also handles this stage.
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