CEO of OPITO, Mr. David Doig
One of the indigenous maritime and oil and gas training centres in the country, Charkins Maritime and Offshore Safety Training Centre, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has been accredited by the Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPITO) to run assessment courses for seafarers and oil workers in Nigeria.
Signed by Chairman and CEO of OPITO, Mr. David Doig, the accreditation certificate, sighted by THISDAY, read: “This is to certify that Charkins in association with SMTC Global has been approved by the board of directors of OPITO as a training and assessment centre for the delivery of helicopter, underwater escape training in accordance with OPITO standards until valid with BOSIET certificate.”
With headquarters in London, United Kingdom, OPITO, an international accreditation body that approves training centres on the delivery of safety and emergency training courses across the globe, has also granted permission to Charkins Maritime and Offshore Safety Training Centre to provide assessment programmes to seafarers.
Other approval given to the centre include tropical basic offshore safety induction and emergency training; further offshore emergency training; tropical further offshore emergency training; tropical helicopter underwater escape training; tropical BOSIET/FOET to BOSIET /FOET bridging elements training; travel safety by boat initial training as well as emergency breathing system.
Speaking at the formal presentation of the OPITO accreditation certificate to the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Administration Agency (NIMASA) at the agency headquarters in Lagos, the Chairman and CEO of the Charkins Maritime and Offshore Safety Training Centre, Sir Charles Wami, said with the accreditation, the centre now has approval to undertake certain courses and training which hitherto it has no approval to do.
He revealed that it took the centre several stages and years of hard work to get the OPITO accreditation.
Wami, whose entrepreneurial skills have been hailed by many stakeholders, pointed out that an assessment team from the international body visited the centre on several occasions to assess the state of its facilities on ground.
On the import and relevance of the global accreditation, Wami said: “The accreditation and relevance of the certificate is to allow access to board helicopters and boats going to offshore installations by seafarers. Oil workers and seafarers without this approved certification would be denied entry to helicopters or boats going offshore. It gives the graduates of this centre worldwide recognition and acceptance for employment whether it is onshore or offshore”.
The centre, which is the first to receive the training approval in the oil and gas rich Niger Delta region, offers basic International Maritime Organisation (IMO) modules to intending students. It is also open to receive students of 15 and above ages.
Acting Director, Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standard, NIMASA, Mr. Vincent Udoye, who received the accreditation certificate on behalf of the Executive Director, Maritime Safety and Shipping Development, Captain Bala Agaba, hailed the management of Charkins for achieving the feat.
He charged Wami and his team not to rest on their oars but to continue to make more strides in capacity building, especially in the training of seafarers for the maritime sector of the economy, as well as the oil and gas industry.
He enjoined other training institutions in the maritime sector and the oil and gas industry to emulate Charkins Maritime and Offshore Safety Training Centre by getting global accreditation for all their courses and programmes.
According to him, “this is the only way those who graduate from these training centres can match their peers from other parts of the world and add value to the system. No effort should be spared in meeting global standards and practices so that our seafarers can stand should-to-shoulder with their counterparts anywhere in the globe.”