The Marine and Naval Architects (MENA) Division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has taken a swoop on the Federal Government for failing to include the maritime sector of the country in the last debasing exercise carried out under the last administration.
Speaking in a welcome address to usher in the 4th Annual Conference/Annual General Meeting of the Division in Lagos, the Chairman of MENA, Engr. (Rtd. Navy Capt.) Dominic Onabanjo who expressed sadness over the development however stated that the trend should not be allowed to continue.
Recalling that the Nigerian maritime industry had the potential to become the biggest maritime nation in the world, Engr. Onabanjo pointed out the need for all hands to be on deck towards achieving this objective.
According to him,” It is disheartening to note that the maritime sector was not considered during the last debasing exercise, this should not be so and this trend has to change.
“Nigeria has the potentials to become the biggest maritime nation in the world; therefore, all hands must be on deck to achieve this goal”.
While recounting the achievements of the division in the last two years under his administration, Engr. Onabanjo disclosed that a proposal for the operational standards to be used mandatorily in Nigeria by Marine Engineers and Naval Architects had been forwarded on demand to the NSE headquarters adding that same when approved would be forwarded to the National Assembly for enactment into a Code of Standards.
“The other divisions of the NSE have also forwarded proposals that propose Code of Standards for members. The NSE headquarters is presently working together with the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) on this project.
“The Code of Standards will be eventually presented to the National Assembly for enactment”, he said.
On problems confronting the growth of the division, the retire Navy Captain recounted the several efforts his administration had made in past two years to secure the recognition and support for the division from the Federal Ministry of Transport and its agencies like the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as well as the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) which had yielded no positive result.
He said,” The other problem area is the lack of sufficient fund. Lack of sufficient fund has been identified as a major impediment towards the realization of the division’s aims and objectives. It is worthy to mention that all MENA aims and objectives are for the upliftment of the maritime industry.
“One of the major source of generating funds in the division is by organizing training workshops, lectures and seminars but government agencies and the private sector show apathy when invited to participate in such activities.
“There were occasions when we organize workshops for the public and ran at a loss. MENA therefore has no choice but to make a lot of sacrifices through donations to ensure that some of the division’s objectives are realized”.
He therefore opined that some of those challenges confronting their profession as well as the maritime sector in general would be highlighted in the course of the conference with a view to providing solutions to them.
Highlights of the conference were the goodwill message from the NSE President, Paper presentations, Book Launch, interactive session, Annual General Meeting among other side attractions.
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