FG commissions multi-billion naira training simulator in MAN
The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi over the weekend commissioned three state-of-the-art multi-billion Naira training simulators, namely the Full Mission Bridge Simulator, the Full Mission Engine Room Simulator and the Multifunctional Classroom simulator at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN).
Addressing newsmen after the commissioning exercise, the Minister of Transportation expressed shock at why it took this long before the Academy could acquire all these state-of-the-art equipment.
According to the Honourable Minister, “There is nothing new about the achievement because anybody could have done this, but what worries me is that all this years that this institution was created, why couldn’t we achieve all this? Why did we have to wait until this current management was appointed in 2017 before things turned around here?
“It is worrying me a bit and it is either due to lack of commitment and dedication by previous management or the fact that no-one is checking or monitoring them. Even the current Rector will also agree with me that nobody was checking or monitoring him.
We have however agreed that going forward, we would put machinery in place for monitoring Heads of agencies because I am sure if the former ministers were monitoring activities here, we would have gone beyond this stage by now.
“I think the first thing is that the Ministry of Transportation must put up a machinery in place where we will know what the objectives for every Head of agencies is or what they set out to achieve yearly.
The ministry will be sure that such objective is achieved or sanctions will be placed on those who are not able to attain those achievements.
“When I was newly appointed minister, the Rector of this school then knew that the law required any spending above N500million to come to the office of the minister, so they spent directly below N500m and we saw how the Academy went backward at that time.
It was when I realised that there were about N19bn or N20bn that they couldn’t account for that I asked them to give me the Academy’s account, and the then Rector died suddenly the next day. After some months that he died, I had to appoint a substantive Rector, and the results speak for themselves today.”
In his own address, the Rector, Commodore Duja Effedua (rtd) explained that in all, the Academy has ten simulators. In his words, “We have the Full Mission Bridge simulator, the Full Mission Engine Room simulator.
“The third simulator which is the Multi-Functional Classroom is a combination of eight simulators. The software’s are there for whatever programme that the instructor want to run.
For example, if the student wants to learn Rules Of the Road, the system will change to Rules Of The Road. If it is GMDSS that the instructor wants to teach, the system will change to GMDSS.
This is the latest in the world of simulation because the regular generic simulators can’t train more than four or five people at a time while this one can train 30 people at a go. Whatever you saw at the Full Mission Bridge can be done at the Multi-Functional Classroom.”
On the prospect of offering training to the oil and gas industry which used to be done abroad at a very expensive rate, the Rector explained that, “The programmes are there. Whatever form of offshore training that anybody wants to go and do abroad is now available here.
For example, Simulation Awareness course in Dubai for one person cost about 2000 Dollars. As an institution based in Nigeria, we can do that same course for Nigerians for between 500 to 700 Dollars equivalent in Naira.
The certificates are the same, the training are the same, so if anybody chooses to go to Dubai and spend so much on a training that can be done here in Nigeria for twice as low, it’s the persons choice.
“We will gladly do it for that low price because the aim of the Federal Government is to build capacity, not to make profit.
“Trainings done abroad like the Dynamic Positioning training, High Voltage training which are done abroad at huge cost can now be done here at the Academy for twice as low of what they will spend going abroad.”