Academy faults NIMASA on training of master mariners
The Rector, Stars Maritime Academy (SMA), Dr. Reuben Ovai has said that both NIMASA and the master mariners are incompetent to comment on the legitimacy or otherwise and operations of private maritime schools in the country because they are not the regulatory authorities saddled with the responsibility of approving operations of technical education in the country.
Ovai spoke at the school premises at Itele, Ogun State in response to allegations levelled against private maritime schools in Nigeria as illegitimate recently by the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and some Master Mariners in the country. He said though a few of the schools may be operating illegally, it is wrong for any agency of government or anybody to make a blanket statement because some of the schools like STARS Maritime Academy were duly registered and accredited by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and the Federal Ministry of Education.
He said for a government agency that is supposed to know better to be accredited with such a published story that private maritime schools in the country are illegitimate sends a wrong information to the general public.
The Rector said the Act that established NIMASA did not give them any right to accredit any maritime institution in the country, adding that the agency under its present management is taking too many responsibilities that are not for them. Master mariners are misinformed about private maritime schools, he added.
Ovai stated that Stars Maritime Academy is the first private maritime school to be registered and approved by the NBTE and the Federal Ministry of Education which also approved Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron , Akwa Ibom State. He said the license to operate as an academy was issued by the former minister of education, Professor Rukkayat, as well as the Executive Secretary of NBTE in 2003.
The STARS maritime Academy Rector stated that the course curriculum use by the school was developed and handed over to them by NBTE, which is the authorised body that approve Polytechnics and Montechnics in Nigeria.
“Stars Maritime Academy is also included in the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) list, which is the recognised body in the country for admission into tertiary institutions. Presently the school run the following courses: shipping management, nautical sciences and marine engineering. The school is also an employer of labour”, Ovai stated. He insisted that NIMASA is not an academic accrediting body in Nigeria educational system, but a regulator in the practising of maritime profession.
The Rector said Nigeria needs more than one maritime academy as Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron alone cannot satisfy the yearnings of maritime education in the country in the area of human capacity development for the nation.
He noted that MAN, Oron came into existence over 30 years ago when Nigeria’s population was less than 100 million but today the population is over 180 million.
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