As the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom, took place on Dec. 21, 2020, the master mariners, ship owners and marine engineers there present charged the graduating students on the importance of understanding some challenges they could face and how they should build resilience to keep standing.
“For the cadets passing out today, you must expect challenges of sea time, but with the knowledge and character moulding you have received here, you are well prepared for these challenges.”
Those were the words of Captain Tajudeen Alao, President, Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), who also prayed that the young seafarers would enjoy their careers and make expected contributions serving the maritime industry.
He encouraged the graduating students with the older mariners’ experiences in their choice of career and pledged their support for them by being available to mentor them as they navigate their sea path.
His words: “I pray that none of you will ever regret taking seafaring as a career. We as master mariners never regretted our choice of career, and we are available to mentor you and we expect you to be good ambassadors of Nigeria.
“Today, on behalf of the master mariners of Nigeria, I am proud to say we have a maritime academy of international standard. This memorable day is worth celebrating. Congratulations to the shipping community.”
In her contribution, Chairman of the Shipowners Forum, Barrister Margaret Orakwusi, ably represented by Barrister Obiageli Obi, while felicitating with the graduating students, advised them to be bold and confident in themselves as they have achieved a lot haven gone through training in the Academy.
She congratulated the Rector, Commodore Emmanuel Duja Effedua (Rtd.) and the Management as well as the leadership of the Governing Council headed by Mr. Demola Seriki, and the Interim Management Committee(IMC) chaired by Chief Adebayo Sarumi, a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, on how well the Academy has been developed.
Orakwusi, however, charged the concerned authorities on the sustainability of the development that has placed the Academy on global heights as a reputable maritime training institution.
She said: “It is gratifying to mention that this college has started witnessing a great positive shape in the standard of education for seafarers. This is evident by the installation of simulators for practical tutoring of the students.
“As this shift is complemented by the proposed plan to acquire a fleet, we shall indeed see emergence of a formidable maritime nation. Albert Einstein, a Physicist once stated that life is like a bicycle, if you want to maintain your balance, you must keep it moving. To keep it moving is not to rest on your oars. To keep moving is to maintain your strategy that pays off. To keep moving is to continue to add value by building on existing values and benefits that accrue from efforts and achievements so far.”
Speaking also, marine engineer and one time administer of the Academy, Olu Akinsoji, advised the graduating class to confidently apply the knowledge acquired in their years of training as the demand tasks them in the daily reality on the job.
He said; “You have demonstrated readiness for the challenges of the future. However, it is just the beginning. Your survival and progress in seafaring profession and generally in maritime administration, will depend on the extent to which you are able to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during your stay at the academy. You must also continue to add value to the formal foundation this academy has provided for you.”
Akinsoji added that: “ It is worthy of note that despite the past challenges faced by the academy, it has produced extraordinarily successful captains, chief engineers, administrators and even employment into the US Navy.”