Press Release: NIMAREX 2015 and the Place of MAN, Oron in Human Capacity Building

The 2015 edition of Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) may have come and gone but its positive imprints will linger for sometime. The International Maritime Conference and Exhibitions, Africa’s biggest maritime expo took place at the Expo Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites had as its theme: “Building Economic Capacity through the Maritime Sector” and NIMAREX was borne out of the desire to showcase Nigeria’s enormous maritime potentials to the world.

The Acting President of Nigeria Ship Owners Association, Aminu Umar in his welcome address identified the services of maritime industry as the key alternative to Nigeria’s total dependence on Oil and Gas revenue. While affirming that over 90 of the world trade is being done through sea, he acknowledged the maritime industry as the major facilitator of this trade.

Nigeria accounts for over 60% of total seaborne traffic in volume and value in the West African region with a GDP accounting for over 60% total GDP of the 16 countries that make up the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), he said.

Umar asserted that the Conference provided the needed opportunity for the articulation of measures and strategies for the realisation of an impactful maritime sector at both national and global levels.

To the NISA Acting President, stakeholders and other participants at NIMAREX, the importance of the human element in shipping cannot be over emphasised, thus, the relevance of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron being the major provider of seafarers for the nation’s maritime sector.

One of the major factors hindering the maximization of the sector’s potentials is the limited supply of indigenous manpower to work in the industry, as continuous import of expatriates does not add the much needed value to our national economy. 

Unarguably, the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron established over 36 years ago with the mandate to train seafarers and merchant navy has lived up to expectations, despite the enormous challenges it is faced with. The Academy has turned out a good percentage of professionals who are presently occupying various positions both in private and government sectors of our economy.

On his part the Rector, Dr. Joshua Okpo indicated the need for the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders to take advantage of the strategic role of MAN, Oron in servicing the critical needs of the Maritime Industry.

Enumerating some challenges bedevilling the institution to include lack of Cadets Sea time, non-dredging of the Oron Water way and in particular, the Academy’s waterfront; non-completion of the Academy’s Boat and Ship Maintenance Workshop; and inadequate educational facilities, Dr. Okpo called on the Federal Government to make a policy thrust that will help facilitate Cadets Sea time experience on board every vessel plying the waters of Nigeria.

“What is critical is to produce Seafarers based on IMO Standards and we need the Government to make a policy thrust that every vessel should take at least 2 MAN, Oron Cadets on board their vessel and the problem of Cadet Sea time would have been solved”, he asserted.

A stakeholder who craved anonymity commended the performance of the Rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Dr. Joshua Okpo during the paper discussion session, describing him as a good CEO with a beautiful performance, which portrays a picture of not just a visionary leader but one with a purpose.

There is need for all stakeholders to join hands at this point in the Academy’s history to ensure that the Academy transforms to a Degree Awarding Maritime Institution based on the standards of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in no distant time. This has become pertinent if the huge potentials embedded in Nigeria’s Maritime Sector are to be fully utilised.

Other illuminating presentations were, “Analysing the Contributions of the Maritime Sector to the National Economy: Policy Prospects for Future Development of the Sector by Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, (SAN); The Imperatives of Attracting Investments into Nigeria’s Maritime Economy: Investments and Funding Perspectives by Tony Elumelu Chairman, UBA, Plc. and Maritime Domain Security Enforcement: A Dimensional In Plugging Economic Leakages by Rear Admiral GSA Ombo (Rtd.).

 

 

FROM:

Public Relations Department

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