13 February 2013

Nigerian Maritime Students At Risk for Certificate of Competency

Seventeen Nigerian Maritime students at the Liverpool John Moores University in UK are at the risk of not qualifying for "Certificate of Competency" in view of challenges facing them.

The leader of the students, Mr Hashimu Audi disclosed this during a courtesy visit to Nigeria's High Commissioner to the UK, Dr Dalhatu Tafida on Wednesday in London.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the students are being sponsored under the Nigerian Seafarers

Development Programme jointly organised by state governments and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Under the training programme, 10,000 Nigerian students were targeted for maritime education, so far, only two batches made up of students from Benue, Ondo, Niger and Kaduna states have befitted from the scheme.

Audi, while appealing for support from the High Commission, said the students were yet to embark on the 12 month mandatory SeaTime Training which would enable them sit for the Certificate of Competency examination.

He said without the training it would be impossible for them to become seafarers or even teach Maritime education, bringing to futility their studies.

According to him, NIMASA, as facilitator of the programme is yet to arrange for them to embark on the training, instead , got them return tickets back home.

Speaking with NAN on the issue, Audi said the same faith befell students who were in the batch one of the programme "when they returned home, they were left stranded for many months .

"Before we embarked on this programme NIMASA is supposed to have written an agreement with a shipping company that will give us Sea Time training.

"Our university thought NIMASA had the capacity to facilitate such training for us, because as individuals we cannot apply for Nautical Science on our own, we need facilitation from NIMASA," Audi said.

Meanwhile, Tafida who pledged to intervene in the matter said the High Commission was not aware of the presence of the students in the institution and their attendance of the programme.

NAN reports that the Certificate of Competency would qualify the students as "Second Officer of the Watch" and with that qualification, the students would be equipped with the basic training of ship loading, and off loading, as well as the skills for planning voyages.

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