A modern maritime training facility has berthed in Lagos with a promise to address the capital flight associated with overseas training of manpower required for the maritime industry over the years.
Called Hudson Trident Training Centre (HTTC) and situated in Lekki, the facility has state-of-the-art maritime training equipment to meet the requisite needs of maritime practitioners in line with the requirements of the global maritime watchdog, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Speaking at the open day event to mark the formal unveiling of the facility in Lagos, the Managing Director of HTTC, Mr. Lai Are said the firm is a Nigerian registered company providing specialist services to the maritime and oil and gas industry in the country.
Are disclosed that the training facility is equipped with many simulators to meet the needs of various kinds of manpower in the maritime industry. These include tug boat simulator, offshore supply vessel simulator, GMDSS simulator, engine room simulator and liquid cargo handling simulator.
According to Are, HTTC provides mandatory and non-mandatory training that complies with international and local standards and regulations such as the International Convention of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping for Seafarers (STCW) 1995 as amended, Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) requirements, Nigerian maritime and oil and gas industry requirements, DNV-GL and the Nautical Institute.
The HTTC MD also revealed that the centre undertakes many courses to meet the needs of shipping practitioners such as Ship Handling, Offshore Supply Vessel Maneuvering, Tug Handling and Dynamic Positioning.
Others are Offshore Supply Vessel Seafarer, GMDSS, Crane Handling, Pilotage and Tug Masters.
He stated that Nigeria will derive enormous benefit from the use of this facility in the country.
He said: “Except you are living elsewhere you must be aware that there is scarcity of foreign exchange as a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policies due to the economic crush. We are of the view that the use of this facility will go a long way in addressing capital flight due to the fact that money that would have been used to do training overseas will be save to meet other pressing needs.
“Nobody will step into this facility and will not be impressed by what is on ground. This is because what we have here is comparable to what is obtainable in the developed world. So why spend huge resources to travel overseas to do training when you can conveniently do the same thing right here in Nigeria with lesser resources. We have the equipment and we have the personnel to do the requisite training.”
He stressed the need for training and re-training in the maritime industry, pointing out that when personnel are properly trained they would be in a better position to do the right thing in the area of their specialisation in the maritime industry.
According to him, a well trained personnel will not only know what to do on board a vessel but how to do it instead of being deceived by the ship captain and other crew members who may have something to hide.
Are appealed to government agencies such as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to make use of the facility to update the knowledge of their workers on the latest trends in the maritime industry manpower requirements.
Apart from those at Nigeria’s premier maritime training academy, the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State, THISDAY had reported that thousands of Nigerian youths are presently in selected maritime training institutions in Egypt, United Kingdom and Philippines studying various maritime courses such as Marine Engineering, Nautical Science, Marine Transportation, and Naval Architecture under the auspices of the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) initiated by NIMASA.
However, some of the beneficiaries of the programme are facing difficulties as some of statutory fees have not been paid as and when due to the recent changes in the management of the agency.
Some stakeholders told THISDAY that the establishment of more facilities such as HTTC would go a long way in meeting Nigeria manpower needs in the maritime industry in the years ahead.