The Rector of the Certified Institute of Shipping, Prof. Alex Okwuashi, on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to accredit some maritime institutions for post-graduate training.
Okwuashi, a Professor of Maritime Administration, made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said the institutions should urgently be accredited to meet the manpower needs of the maritime industry.
“I urge the Federal Government to accredit some maritime institutions so that they can train people at a higher level to meet the manpower needs of the industry.
“As a matter of fact, I can say that there is a shortfall of manpower if it is measured by the industry requirement for the next five years.
“We may have manpower adequately trained in the management area but not in the area of technology and other engineering areas,’’ Okwuashi told NAN.
He said the new focus of the maritime industry to boost the nation’s economy required every necessary step to be taken to meet international standards.
According to the rector, to attain such height in the nation’s maritime sector, there is need to have institutions training students up to master’s degree.
“At present, even the Maritime Academy (MAN), Oron, does not train students to attain international standards in manpower development.
“The training required should, however, be up to Master’s degree for Naval Architects, Engineers and other technical areas,’’ the rector said.
Okwuashi said it would be a step ahead to have an institution like MAN, Oron, serving as a maritime college in any of the newly-established maritime universities.
He said that such an initiative would enable the academy to be upgraded with facilities for manpower training to international standards, better than what obtained in the institution at present.
Okwuashi said that because only the government and wealthy individuals could afford to pay for maritime training abroad, it would be difficult to enlarge the size of manpower needed in the industry.
The rector said it was important to develop local institutions offering maritime programmes to train as many people as possible. (NAN)