Former cadets of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State, have said they would back research aimed at the sustainable development of the maritime sector of the Nigerian economy.
The ex-cadets, under the auspices of MAN, Oron, Alumni, Europe Chapter, said they would do everything possible to bring their knowledge and expertise to bear on the research and development of the sector.
The chapter, which comprises cadets that have graduated from MAN, Oron, Akwa Ibom State since the school was established over three decades ago, said the Nigerian maritime sector is in need of all the expertise at her disposal to provide the catalyst for her growth and development.
The former cadets expressed the desire to back research in the sector in a communiqué issued at the end of its international maritime summit, which took place recently in London, United Kingdom.
The summit, which attracted participants from Nigeria, Europe and Asia, provided a forum for experts in various streams of the maritime sector to conceptualise ideas and contribute knowledge towards the strategic growth of the Nigerian maritime sector.
Signed by the Chairman, (MAN), Oron, Alumni, Europe Chapter Chairman, Mr. Maurice Asuquo, the former cadets reiterated their commitment to research and technological development (RTD), which has been the foundation of growth and development in developed countries.
“We strongly recommend that members of the Alumni of MAN should be equipped to carry out further research on evolving maritime, oil and gas and other marine related subject areas. Many members of the Alumni are already actively involved in maritime research in various research institutes in the United Kingdom and across the world. We fully support government investment in research and a National Research Policy through an agreed national framework for maritime research and innovation to support development and reduce the acute shortage of relevant skills and expertise in the Nigerian maritime sector.
“We support the engagement between the maritime industry and maritime researchers as such partnership supports the growth and development of the Nigerian maritime sector. We welcome the idea of a national, comprehensive and inclusive policy between the Federal, State and Local Government structure aimed at formulating shared visions of future requirements and efficient information exchange for the development of the Nigerian maritime sector.
“We fully support the idea of an open door policy and engaging the community in frequent dialogue, building stakeholder relationships and providing the timely delivery of data and statistics required to make informed strategic decisions on the Nigerian maritime sector”, the communiqué added.
The former cadets, who are excelling in various parts of Europe, hailed Nigeria and Federal Ministry of Transport for their determination to improve the training standards of cadets in MAN, Oron and their willingness to provide training vessels for the cadets of the institution to undertake their mandatory sea training.
According to them, Nigeria needs a honest appraisal of her present maritime capacity and what is possible in the next decade considering the resources at her disposal.
As a result of the crucial need for best practices and expertise in the Nigerian maritime sector and in pursuance of the deliverables from the summit, the Alumni of the MAN wish to request the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Minister of Transport that the Alumni of Maritime Academy of Nigeria be considered for representation in the various Nigerian maritime decision-making bodies.