MAN Oron Secures Partnership With NNPC on Sea Time, Capacity Buiding, Edet Okpo Reports
Another milestone was recently reached in the administration of the Acting Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, when the Management of the Academy signed an agreement with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other major oil exploration firms in the country for the training of seafarers from the Niger Delta States.
The flag-off ceremony of the training which was held in the Cadets’ Smoke Room of the Academy also had as key co-signatories to the joint-venture agreement Agip Oil Company (NOAC) and OANDO Oil Ltd.
Expressing appreciation to the joint-venture partners on behalf of the Management Staff, Cadets and students of MAN, Oron, the Acting Rector, Dr. Mkpandiok Mkpandiok said it was gladdening to see a dream become a reality.
Speaking further on the importance of the joint-partnership in the training of Cadets, Dr. Mkpandiok emphasized that the core mandate of the Academy remains the development of manpower for the Nigerian Maritime Industry and allied Industries of which NOAC, OANDO and indeed the NNPC are cardinal members.
In spite of this important mandate, the Acting Rector however regretted that the institution has over the years been denied basic instruments and professional trainings for efficiency and competitiveness in the global maritime sector.
According to the Acting Rector, such basic needs include lack of National Fleet, poor policy, lack of training berths and training ship for the Academy. Other deficiencies experienced by the Academy also include survival training pool, poorly equipped e-library, and simulators. He however expressed the hope that “In view of the significance of this partnership, there is a compelling need to raise the bar in the quality of services rendered to end-users. We strongly believe that this will put us in a better position to continue to provide that quality of maritime training and education that competes favourably on the global maritime landscape”, Mkpandiok assured.
Speaking on behalf of OANDO Oil Ltd, Mr. Massimo Insulla who represented the company’s Managing Director, disclosed that OANDO has always been an active partner and contributor to the manpower development of youths from the host communities in particular and the Nigerian maritime sector in general, as well as critical stakes in the Nigerian power sector. He highlighted that, apart from the over 280 youths from the Niger Delta host communities currently engaged in diverse training programmes, other components and achievements of the Eni Marine Capacity Development Initiative include construction of a marine laboratory (comprising 3 workshops, simulation rooms, meeting rooms, and offices) in 2016, and practical sea-time training programme that was inaugurated in early 2017. On the essence of the joint-partnership with MAN, Oron, Mr. Insulla stated that “the event is extremely important as it is the first in the history of capacity building programs sponsored by the Joint Venture.” He therefore reiterated the company’s commitment to its success.
Conveying her feelings in a goodwill message, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Chris Ngige, represented by the State Controller of Labour, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mrs. Tonye Thom-Manuel, said that he was delighted for the joint-venture initiative of the oil companies towards addressing some critical needs in the maritime sector, especially as they affected training of youths from the host communities.
The labour minister maintained that the Ministry was committed to offering professional advice and guidance in matters of labour when needs arise and wished that the initiative be sustained with constructive dialogue with the stakeholders.
In his remarks, the director of the programme who is also the Director of Maritime Academy of Nigeria Consultancy Services (MANCONSULT), Dr. Kelvin Okonna, disclosed that the training programme, which has a complementary part of sea service on board a ship, has been designed in collaboration with STWC and NIMASA Template and guidelines. He therefore called for more collaboration with oil firms in the country.
The event which was chaired by the Queen of Tombrass Kingdom, Josephine Diette-Spiff, also had prominent stakeholders in the maritime sector and other dignitaries.