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					  ENGINEERING CAREER AT SEA
                       BY:


            RICHARD R. A. OWOLABI
        Director, School of Engineering
        MARITIME ACADEMY OF NIGERIA, ORON


                       AT:

            A ONE-DAY CAREER GUIDE

                     TOPIC:
          MARINE ENGINEERING
                     HELD AT:

   ETAL HOTELS & HALLS (FORMER EXCELSIOR HOTEL)
                   APAPA, LAGOS


                  ORGANISED BY:


SHIPS & PORTS COMMUNICATION COMPANY




                                     DECEMBER 14TH, 2006
      ENGINEERING CAREER AT SEA
                                    BY:

                      RICHARD R. A. OWOLABI
                     M.Sc (MET), MIMarEST,
          CHIEF ENGINEER CERTIFICATE OF COMPETENCY
           DIRECTOR, SCHOOL OF MARINE ENGINEERING
                 MARITIME ACADEMY OF NIGERIA.




1.0   ABSTRACT:

           This paper seeks to expatiate on the Engineering career on

      board ships both in the inland waterways and deep sea. It highlights

      the current training, examination and certification as it applies under

      the Nigerian Maritime Administration.

           The training philosophy, methods and requirements are

      discussed.

           The human capacity planning and development is a necessity

      for the socio-economic growth and development of any nation.

      Successive     Nigerian   Government       have    through    National

      Development Plans, Rolling Plans and the Annual Budgets

      enunciated commendable Human Capacity Development Plans to

      achieve the desired objective of laying a solid foundation for rapid

      development of all facets of the economy. The investment of the
      Federal Government in simulator equipments to enhance the training

      of seafarers is commendable.

2.0   INTRODUCTION

            Nigeria’s potential as a maritime nation is enormous, sixty

      percent of the inward and outward bound sea-borne trade in the West

      and Central Africa sub-region goes through Nigerian waters. But the

      maritime industry faces a lot of challenges which include stiff

      international   competition,      inadequate         infrastructures,   non-

      enforcement of safety regulations and indiscriminate pollution of the

      marine environment.

            Nigeria with a coastline of 853km along the Atlantic Ocean in

      the Gulf of Guinea, with a maritime area of 46,500km2 and exclusive

      economic zone of 210,900m2 she has all the potential for a viable

      inland, coastal and international shipping. Unfortunately Nigeria, in

      the last few decades had not utilized this great economic advantage.

            Today, the nation’s maritime industry is beset with various

      problems    ranging   from     lack   of   capital    for   development   to

      management, operational and man-power availability, in addition to

      international competition which have made it difficult to evolve a

      viable and sustainable maritime industry. Like a vessel sailing in

      stormy seas, the industry had not been able to find a steady course to
      enable her contribute positively to the economic emancipation of the

      country.

            It is in the light of these myriad of problems that the area of

      training of a marine engineer is addressed.

3.0   IMPROVED TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE

            The maritime industry allows Nigerians to acquire technical

      skills. A very important aspect of this skill relates to shipbuilding, ship

      repairs and ship maintenance. The building of dry dock facilities

      enables the developed skills to gain practical experience through the

      repairs of both foreign and national vessels calling in the ports. The

      need for the development of the technological know-how brought

      about the establishment of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron,

      where specialized skills in shipping are produced. The courses

      covered include Marine Engineering, Nautical Science, Maritime

      Transport and Business Studies, Ship Building. Other specialized but

      non-technical areas include port operations, marine insurance,

      maritime laws, maritime security, etc.




4.0   PROBLEM AND PROSPECTS
     The structure of the Nigerian economy and the demand for

shipping implies the need for a virile maritime industry. The factors

responsible for the poor performance of the maritime industry include:

     This problem has been attributed to unavailability of modern

vessels like RoRo, Tankers and Containers.

     The objective in management is to co-ordinate human and

material resources to achieve optimum productivity. Poor staffing and

acute shortage of skilled man-power have not provided an enabling

environment for improved shipping service in the maritime industry.

     A major problem affecting the maritime industry as shown

above relates to a proper understanding of the shipping business

which is very highly technical. Most of the problems outlined can be

best resolved through a proper training and continuous retraining

exercise. Nigeria had no reason not to expand her merchant fleet,

because of the high volume of bulk liquid, gas and dry cargoes

transiting her ports. Unfortunately Nigeria has not enjoyed the

commercial benefits of transporting these large quantities of cargoes.

     The lack of fleet to carry this enormous quantity of cargo (liquid

and dry) is estimated as two (200) hundred average size tankers

including combo general cargo vessels and LNG vessels (Peters,
2006) in 1992. This figure would have increased by today’s export

value.

      The lack of a training policy on maritime education and training

in Nigeria has been identified as one of the obstacles to Maritime

Manpower Training.

      Njoku (2000) states that the lack of will and discipline on the

part of various governments over the years to implement some

policies which could enhance skill and ensure maximum competence

on the part of Nigerian Seafarers has given the country a low score

point in international maritime activities.

      The need for policy is backed by the provisions of STCW

Convention number Reg. 1/7, section A-1/7(2)(3) and makes it

mandatory before a nation can be placed on the IMO “White List”.

The availability of policy ensures the maintenance of an efficient and

effective maritime education, training, examination and certification of

seafarers. The policy also provide for research into and development

of improved education and training.

      Anarah (1985) says that marine qualifications are not

recognized/understood within the Nigerian Education System. This

means that the average seafarer that wants to take up shore

appointment experience hardship, forcing him/her to change their
      course discipline or change profession. Nigeria needs an integrated

      system of maritime education.

            This is a front-ended system of maritime education and training

      that combines marine engineering with other academic studies. The

      benefits of this system is three-fold viz:

          It attracts young people to the seafaring profession, while

           assuring them of the possibility of working ashore at the same

           social status if they decide to quit the sea.

          It is cost effective for shipowners and government.

          It also provides better labour mobility.

4.1   The way forward in proffering solution to the problems are as follows:

          Availability of funds to purchase modern vessels with reduced

           running cost. This will mean the private sector, especially the

           Banking sector, creating avenue for shipowner to purchase

           vessels at competitive interest rates. This will make available

           vessels for the mandatory sea service and employments for

           prospective seafarers.

          Shipowners to sponsor, on scholarship Cadet training at the

           Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron and other approved training

           institutions in Nigeria.
          The integration of the Maritime Education and Training into the

           National Education System that leads to the award of a degree

           as well as the Certificate of Competency.

5.0   TRAINING NEEDS

            One of the shortfalls in manpower constitute the areas where

      training is required. Additionally the need for staff training, retraining

      through short-term academic/professional programmes and long term

      courses of study.

            Field response to some questionnaires distributed shows a

      significant number of existing staff in training institutions still require

      training in the respective specialized areas. When the funds are

      available a few attend seminars, workshops and conferences on

      maritime related subjects. The constraint to training and retraining for

      most staff is funding.

            The future Maritime Education and Training needs, that is the

      standards, methods and resources, are based on the requirements

      from the STCW Convention and ISM Code.

            The purpose of which is to improve safety on board ships and

      to promote protection of marine environment through pollution

      prevention. These two developments from the International Maritime

      Organization (IMO), is to achieve safety of operations through
      emphasis on the quality of shipboard operations. Once quality is

      established the safety is assured.

6.0   TRAINING REQUIREMENTS

            Shipping is a technically complex and capital intensive industry.

      Maritime training institutions generally provided training for young

      people who had just left school and are to embark on a sea-going

      career.

            Nigeria   gained   independence     in 1960     and    joined   the

      International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 1962. Nigerian had gone

      through series of attempt to establish a viable shipping company. A

      close examination of the country’s march towards achieving the

      status of a maritime leading nation culminated in the establishment of

      the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) which was eventually

      liquidated in 1995. When a government ratifies an IMO Convention it

      makes that Convention part of its National Laws and agrees to

      enforce it in its entirety. Enforcement, however, involves far more

      than a signature on a piece of paper. A country wishing to have a

      Fleet of ships under its flag must have a properly trained staff. It must

      employ a team of surveyors and inspectors to ensure that ships

      comply with national and international requirements. This involves
lots of funds and expertise, and these expertise can only be acquired

through decades of Manpower Development Strategies.

      Presently, there are two distinct types of very important training

which maritime personnel must acquire if we are to maintain and

achieve greater height in our dream for maritime growth. These two

categories of training also portray two major divisions in the cadre of

maritime personnel.

      The first of these two major groupings will include all shore-

based personnel, managers, administrators, training school lecturers

and instructors etc.

      The second group will include all those involved in the direct

operation of maritime crafts and ships such as the deck officers,

engineers and the crew.

      The bane of our growth then lie in the sad fact that while the

managers     may       have   the   necessary   academic   training   of

management, they lack exposition to the real industry for better

performance; the other operators seem to be bugged down with only

practical experience, with little or no academic record. The balance

will be to create the enabling condition for the management group to

get on board to acquire the basic sea experience.
      Similarly, the operators should be made to undergo academic

enhancement at least to a certain level. IMO established the World

Maritime University (WMU) in Malmo, Sweden to cater for this elite

group of men and women who have already achieved considerable

success in their careers, but would benefit from further specialized

education at the highest level, which included Postgraduate Diploma

courses and Master of Science programmes. WMU endeavours to

overcome this by providing an intensive 17-months of taught

postgraduate programme in Maritime Affairs leading to the award of

degree of Master of Science, a Postgraduate Diploma or a

Postgraduate Certificate. The entrance requirements are the same for

each, but the period of study varies: 17 months (four semesters) for

the M.Sc, 12 months for the Postgraduate Diploma and 7 months for

the Postgraduate Certificate.

      From the third semester, the students follow one of six

specializations:

      Integrated Coastal and Ocean

      Management; Maritime Administration;

      Maritime Education and Training;

      Maritime Safety and Environmental Protection;

      Port Management; or Shipping Management.
7.0   TRAINING SCHEME

      There are three main concepts of schemes adopted worldwide for

      Seafarers.

      (a)   Monovalent - one career path

      (b)   Dual-purpose-two career paths

      (c)   Integrated training – Dual training but one career path

            In Nigeria we follow the Monovalent Training Scheme. After an

      approved shore base study up to National Diploma (ND) the

      trained/Cadet proceeds to a twelve (12) months mandatory sea

      service as a deck or engineer Cadet. He/She proceed to attend a

      preparatory course of three months/and subsequently is examined

      and certificated by National Maritime Administration and Safety

      Agency (NAMASA) examiners, for the Certificate of Competency as

      Officer in charge of Watch (OOW).

8.0   CERTIFICATES

            Certificates are important as they are the main paper evidence

      you have on hand to prove that your level of maritime education and

      training, your length of service at sea, your professional competence,

      medical fitness and age all comply with STCW Convention

      Standards.
            The Certificate of Competence is a document issued to

      masters, officers, radio operators and ratings forming part of a watch,

      who meet the standards of competence relevant to their particular

      functions and level of responsibility onboard.

9.0   GENERAL REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN A CERTIFICATE OF
      COMPETENCY AS A CHIEF ENGINEER

         Chief Engineer Officers on ships powered by main
          propulsion machinery of 3,000kW propulsion power or more
          must:

          (a)     Previous Certificate & Seagoing Service:        meet    the

                  requirements for certification as an officer in charge of an

                  engineering watch and have not less than 36 months’

                  approved seagoing service, of which not less than 12

                  months shall have been served as an engineer officer in a

                  position of responsibility while qualified to serve as

                  second engineer officer.

          (b)     Education and Training:       have completed approved

                  education and training and meet the standard of

                  competence specified in section A-III/2 of the STCW

                  Code.

         Chief Engineer Officers on ships powered by main
          propulsion machinery of 750kW – 3,000kW propulsion
          power unit:
        (a)   Previous Certificate and Seagoing Service:       meet the

              requirements for certification as an officer in charge of an

              engineering watch and have not less than 24 months’

              approved seagoing service, of which not less than 12

              months shall have been served while qualified to serve as

              second engineer officer.

        (b)   Education and Training:       have completed approved

              education and training and meet the standard of

              competence specified in section A-III/3 of the STCW

              Code.

10.0 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN A CERTIFICATE AS A
     SECOND ENGINEER

       Second Engineer Officers on ships powered by main
        propulsion machinery of 3,000kW propulsion power or more
        must:

        (a)   Previous Certificate and Seagoing Service: meet         the

              requirements for certification as an officer in charge of an

              engineering watch and have not less than 12 months’

              approved seagoing service as assistant engineer officer

              or engineer officer.

        (b)   Education and Training:       have completed approved

              education and training and meet the standard of
          competence specified in section A-III/2 of the STCW

          Code.

    Note: Second Engineer Officers qualified for service on ships

          powered by main propulsion machinery of 3,000kw

          propulsion power or more, may serve as Chief Engineer

          Officer on ships powered by main propulsion machinery

          of less than 3,000kW propulsion power provided not less

          than 12 months’ approved seagoing service shall have

          been served as an engineer officer in a position of

          responsibility and the certificate is so endorsed.

   Second Engineer Officers on ships powered by main
    propulsion machinery of 750kW – 3,000kW propulsion
    power must:

    (a)   Previous Certificate and Seagoing Service: meet         the

          requirements for certification as an officer in charge of an

          engineering watch and have not less than 12 months’

          approved seagoing service as assistant engineer officer

          or engineer officer.

    (b)   Education and Training:       have completed approved

          education and training and meet the standard of

          competence specified in section A-III/3 of the STCW

          Code.
11.0 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN A CERTIFICATE OF
     COMPETENCY AS AN OFFICER IN CHARGE OF AN
     ENGINEERING WATCH

       Officers in charge of an engineering watch in a manned
        engine room or designated duty engineers in a periodically
        unmanned engine-room (750kW propulsion power or more)
        must:

        (a)    Age:    be not less than 18 years of age.

        (b)    Seagoing Service:      have completed not less than six

               months’ seagoing service in the engine department in

               accordance with Section A-III/1 of the STCW Code.

        (c)    Education and Training:      have completed approved

               education and training of at least 30 months which

               includes onboard training. This must be documented in an

               approved training record book and meet the standards of

               competence specified in Section A-III/1 of the STCW

               Code.

12.0 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN A CERTIFICATE OF
     COMPETENCY AS A RATING FORMING PART OF A WATCH IN A
     MANNED ENGINE-ROOM OR DESIGNATED TO PERFORM
     DUTIES IN A PERIODICALLY UNMANNED ENGINE ROOM

    Applies only for service on ships of 750kW propulsion power or more.

       The Rating must:

        (a)    Age:    be not less than 16 years of age.
        (b)     Seagoing Service:       have       completed      approved

                seagoing service including not less than six months’

                training and experience, or

        (c)     Education and Training:        special training, either pre-

                sea or onboard ship, including an approved period of

                seagoing service which shall not be less than two months;

                and

        (d)     meet the standard of competence specified in Section A-

                II/4 of the STCW Code.

13.0 CONCLUSION

          The STCW Convention lays great emphasis on practical

    competence.

          Therefore an important part of any STCW training programme

    is to put into practice what you have learned from books or with an

    instructor in a classroom. For some specific skills this is best done at

    approved training establishments in purpose built installations ashore.

    However, to gain certain other competencies the best way is to

    practice them at sea under the supervision of a person with

    appropriate training and experience.

          In order that Nigeria must ascend to the level of a leading

    maritime nation, we must place adequate emphasis on manpower
development. It is imperative to state that there will be no growth

without adequate training.

     Expansion of the facilities of our maritime institutions should be

pursued as well as adequate staffing, remuneration and regular

updating or refresher in service training should be provided for those

teaching technical and professional courses.
                           REFERENCES


   Akinsoji, I. O, (1999). Manpower Capacity Analysis and
    Development Plan for the Maritime Industry. Jodah Nigeria
    Limited, Benin City, Nigeria.

   Ja’afaru, M. M and Akinsoji, I. O. (1997). Effective Capacity
    Development of the Nigerian Maritime Industry. Maritime
    Academy of Nigeria, Oron.

   Imarrest (Dec. 2002). The Marine Engineer in the Electronic Age.
    London, EC2R 5BJ, UK.

   Peters, A. C. C. (2006). Spanners-on Board. One-Day Shipping
    Career Summit. Ships and Ports Communication Company.

   Owolabi, R. R. A. (2006). Career Prospects and Training in the
    Merchant Navy. Ships and Ports Summit, Lagos.

				
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