Analyzing the Effectiveness of Seafarers Training in Nigeria
1. Introduction
The maritime industry is a complex and technologically advanced working environment. To ensure the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment, seafarers are required to be well trained. One of the important elements of the International Safety Management (SM) code, which was developed in response to several maritime disasters, is crew training. Training and certification requirements for seafarers are clearly defined within the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), which was adopted in 1978. Country code training programs are carried out according to international conventions such as STCW, and training effectiveness is assessed through the performance of the trainees and the pass rates in the Merchant Navy Examination Board (MNeb) examinations. In Nigeria, seafarers’ training effectiveness is assessed through approved examination and certification of the trainees. The maritime industry has a crucial and strategic contribution to a nation’s socioeconomic growth and development. But for the industry to be able to realize its full potential both in contributing to the growth of the national economy and to the citizens’ well-being, it must be safe, secured, and the environment in which it operates must be protected from all forms of negative impact. For more information, please see the attached document.
1.1 Background
The history of Nigeria’s maritime industry can be traced back to colonial times. The British colonial powers used Nigeria as both a principal hub for the West African maritime trade and key source of raw materials for their local industries. As a result, the Nigerian maritime industry was structured around the needs of the British and there was virtually no local professional presence within the industry. This situation changed drastically following Nigeria’s independence in 1960. In the intervening 40 years, the Nigerian government has made substantial efforts to indigenize the maritime industry. One of the key challenges to this indigenization process was the historic lack of formal training programs to develop and professionalize Nigerian seafarers. Although some training programs existed, most lacked standardization and were largely ad hoc in nature. In most cases, the training was provided on an apprenticeship model, with students learning on the job. This meant that the majority of Nigerian seafarers did not receive formal qualifications and were largely shut out of opportunities for career progression within the industry. This problem was further compounded by the fact that most Nigerian seafarers were not accustomed to formal classroom learning. Previous studies have noted that the standardization of training and introduction of internationally recognized qualifications would likely improve the professional standing of Nigerian seafarers and increase the industry’s potential in global markets. However, the extent to which certain seafarers training programs in the country should be accredited locally, as opposed to having curriculum and qualifications vetted by international standards is still a subject of contention today. Such academic discussions aside, there has been sparse literature on the effectiveness of seafarers training programs in Nigeria. This is compounded by the fact that there is no comprehensive, empirical assessment of the training programs nationally. At best, existing studies tend to be descriptive in nature and have tended to rely on qualitative assessments by industry experts. The aim of this research is therefore to systematically assess the effectiveness of seafarers training in Nigeria and determine the areas which require improvement. As it stands, many Nigerian seafarers hold STCW qualification certificates.
1.2 Problem Statement
For many years, public and private sector training institutions, with no formal collaboration among themselves, have been responsible for the education and training of seafarers in Nigeria. Therefore, the major challenge is neither the lack of training institutes nor the failure to train would-be seafarers. The problem is that of the effectiveness of the standard of education and training of seafarers towards meeting both the national and international requirements. Up till now, no known research has been done to objectively assess the effectiveness of seafarers’ education and training in Nigeria. This is worsened by the fact that many deaths and injuries were reported in Nigeria on board ships between 2010 and 2012, according to European Maritime Safety Agency, 2014. Nigeria is an emerging market in the maritime industry and there will be an increasing dependency on Nigerian seafarers in the near future. Therefore, it will be interesting and important for us to examine how well seafarers in Nigeria were prepared before they can be entrusted with the enormous responsibility of managing and running ships. In view of the lack of research and the current regional imbalanced development of seafarers’ education and training in Nigeria, there have not been standard guidelines on how to build capacity, improve the quality of seafarers’ education and training from studies and research in our locality, in line with the requirements of International Maritime Organization’s white paper on the standard of education and training of seafarers. I am convinced that the initial step in the alignment of maritime education and training programme with international requirements and the competence standards of the international maritime community should be a systematic, periodical and evidence-based review of the state of seafarers’ education and training.
1.3 Research Objectives
The aim of the research is to investigate the extent of alignment of seafarers training with best practice as well as international trends. The specific objectives are to firstly, analyse the framework of seafarers’ training in Nigeria, the opportunities for and the obstacles to training professional crew. Secondly, it is to assess the adequacy of the present facilities for seafarers’ training. Thirdly, the research seeks to evaluate the professional qualifications and training available to seafarers in Nigeria. Fourthly, the research will seek to identify the gaps and possible areas of improvement in the training and certification schemes that are applicable to Nigerian seafarers. Finally, it is to make recommendations for further improving the standard of seafarers’ training in Nigeria, having regard to current levels of international shipping activity and international requirements for safety and certification.
2. Literature Review
Previous studies on seafarers training in Nigeria are also reviewed. As Lipert and Babarinde (2017) stated, Nigeria has become the primary source of our seafarers in the West African sub-region. The study, which involved the responses of 112 seafarers, revealed that 96.4% of the respondents indicated that their onboard training objectives were met. Notably, Nigeria has taken important steps in training its seafarers. The country is among the few countries in the world that has instituted a deliberate policy for the establishment of believable training institutions for the training of seafarers. The policy thrust by the government is to develop enough institutional capacity to the level of International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Furthermore, the government in collaboration with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), has positioned Nigeria as the leading maritime learning institution not only in West Africa but also in the sub-region. It is noteworthy to state that seafarer training in Nigeria had been inadequate, characterized by lack of funding, poor curricula, poor research, professional disinterest and lack of training ships or simulators. According to Adeyinka and Makanjuola (2017), lack of simulator facilities and other emergent issues in Nigerian sea training compromises effective professional training that could lead to the seafarer emotional intelligence and professionalism. Also, safety precautions in sea faring processes were discovered to be empty without continuous onboard and shore based professional training. The improvement in seafarer safety management was also advocated for. Similarly, Dada (2013) suggested that Nigerian seafarers’ doubts over the relevance of their training pose areas of concerns in the meaningful filling of manning capacity gap in the Gulf of Guinea. He suggested also that the patronage, growth, development and prowess of the maritime industry in Nigeria are largely dependent on the quality of seafarer training curriculum in particular and the quality of academic content and manpower development in the tertiary education system for the maritime industry in general. As noted by Kibirige, Steinhous and Morris (2015), the civilization and quality of the industry require a continuous development and adaptability in the age of technological advances and stricter regulations. For instance, training programs must be adopted to address new requirements in the 2010 Manila amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) which includes the introduction of a range of new minimum rest hours and limiting working hours and providing for new and defined categories of crew to be employed in ship holders.
2.1 Overview of Seafarers Training
The same level standards are now being established by IMO and the provisions are to be in compliance with STCW Convention and Code. Significant changes were adopted by the 1995 STCW Convention and Code, which now applies to all ships, including those not involved in international voyages and port operations. In recent years, various countries have made efforts to reform the seafarers’ education and training. Most are still in the process of implementing new training programs, in coherence with international standards. The Convention, which came into force in 1998, introduces a formal certification system based on standards developed by the International Maritime Organization. IMO has provided technical assistance to the countries both in the initial stages of the review process of the training and certification regulations and in the later stages of the drafting of new laws, to ensure that the new requirements meet international standards. So far, over 100 countries have ratified the 1995 STCW Convention and more are in the process to do so. Countries have five years from the date of entry into force of the amendments to ensure that their training and certification programs are in compliance with the new international standards. In the United States, the implementation of the new STCW requirements involves changes in Coast Guard regulations, international agreements, industry practices and the maritime education and training offered by various institutions. More importantly, it involves not only the education and training of professional mariners, but also changes in the way the seafarers are supervised, evaluated and undergo retraining or continuing education. IMO as a specialized agency of the United Nations is the global standard setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. To facilitate this process, it promotes cooperation among government and shipping industry on technical as well as legal matters. It is also providing assistance in maritime training and research. This is to ensure that the latest technological developments are included in training program, conducted by many countries with the assistance of IMO and within a quality assurance framework.
2.2 Importance of Effective Training
Training of seafarers is a set of specific educational activities aimed primarily at improving their skills. The practice of training suggests the existence of conditioned reflex skills and is the origin of an automatic skilled action. Generations of seamen have their own experience in solving problems of professional development, personal growth, and self-improvement. Training is a stage in the process of education and other forms of cognitive activity, for example, learning and education. Learning can be defined as a relatively permanent change in behavior potential as a result of practice or experience to emphasize the fact that behavior reflects the activities of the central nervous system and the training can be effective if it can be related to a comprehensible mode of learning. The training is the realization of a set of methods and specific exercises. The methods used are test, explain, demonstrate, supervise, and inspire. The training ways are a partial or complete repetition of the working situations and due to today’s view, the man who is being trained is a participant. Both the author of the program and the trainee could inspire the process and also make necessary deviations from it with the help of careful research and solutions to any problems. This means that the training process is always reciprocal, selective, realized with people of high intelligence, knowledge, and experience, rational excellence, oriented towards research, and all the more for improvement.
2.3 Factors Affecting Training Effectiveness
The standards of preparing are consistently at a danger of being subverted, typically by poor support. Notwithstanding, poor support might be an aftereffect of various elements, inevitable not exactly the other. One of the most widely recognized reasons for insufficient preparing is the point at which the preparation isn’t investigated to recognize preparing needs. Similarly, instructional method itself can present obstructions to powerful preparing when it utilizes obsolete strategies. Stress can likewise be a hindrance to powerful preparing. Stress can emerge out of numerous sources, including family issues, money related concerns and social contrasts. Stress can drain the understudy’s quality and limit the capacity to focus. Another significant reason for insufficient preparing is the point at which the coach doesn’t have the abilities, the material or the assets expected to give quality preparing. Dormant preparing latently acknowledges that the individual has a requirement for help. It is a strategy that associations regularly use to address an apparent issue. Exercises are made to fortify existing convictions and collaborations. It can lessen the force and decisions that adjust preparation can convey to a person. On the other hand, inactive preparing can prompt deadlock – a condition of activity. This can make the individual acknowledge where they are to what extent they have been there. They accept that they merit the issue and it is an unavoidable truth. It is likewise regular that there are different types of preparing that the individual could profit by; anyway the inactive system doesn’t make a move. The honour framework is a huge boundary to preparing viability, where students are offered credit establishment for finishing such preparing. Many preparing projects are structured as one size fits all. Be that as it may, that doesn’t function admirably. It prompts untouchables in the homeroom, converse with acknowledgment and creates a nonexclusive climate. Consequently, homeroom assumes control over the educational plan; understudies become aggravated for educators; understudies get segregated as a great deal of homerooms moves to a homeroom in the sky marvel. As indicated by Hart, innovativeness in the homeroom is frequently diminished in light of the fact that educators perceive an excessive number of understudies to go out on a limb. Nonetheless, adjust preparing is custom-made in any case and starts with a comprehension of necessities as appeared differently in relation to static preparing where it is accepted that an arrangement will work for a wide range of students. Static students don’t really feel they need to take an interest to get the hang of something new. However, really it is the mentor’s duty to give dynamic students chances to learn. As indicated by the business apprenticeships manual, it accepts that guidance ought to incorporate the idea of preparing or guidance. It contends that a key qualification between the two is that mentors show students what they have to know to play out an assignment. Then again, guidance may cover abilities and criminologist. This would make it hard for the mentor to screen outbound capacities.
2.4 Previous Studies on Seafarers Training in Nigeria
The researcher recommended among other things, the need for regular review of the NIMASA guidelines on “minimum safe manning at sea” which stipulates the requirement for human resources on Nigeria’s vessel and for NIMASA to use the “benefits of modern technology” in monitoring compliance by maritime operators with the statutory documents. Also, the government, ship owners and other relevant agencies are encouraged to collaborate in providing and ensuring that standard and modern facilities and technology are provided in maritime training institutions. This will raise the quality and effectiveness of seafarers training in Nigeria.
On the psycho-social environment, research findings showed that 81.5% of the seafarers have been away from home for a period spanning 6 to 9 months. Almost all the respondents agreed that staying off family for such a long time can lead to mental and physical stress which can impair efficient learning during training. This is consistent with the researcher’s view that although cognitive behaviour analysis is gaining currency in seafarers training, there is the need to develop and implement a more comprehensive and systematic approach to address the psycho-social factors as well as cognitive factors known to affect seafarers’ learning.
The researcher conducted survey research and randomly selected 1000 seafarers in Nigeria. However, the criteria used in selection were not stated. Three hundred copies of the survey instrument were returned and useful for analysis. The research findings showed that 55.3% of the seafarers agreed to some extent that training facilities in Nigeria were not at par with what obtained in advanced maritime countries. Also, 57.5% of the respondents believed that inadequate facilities can make training ineffective.
The researcher highlighted the infrastructural deficit in the nation’s maritime industry. He stated that inadequate facilities and obsolete technological devices can make training ineffective and this underscores the importance of providing modern facilities and technology in enhancing seafarers’ knowledge and skills.
A research was conducted to identify the challenges facing seafarers in Nigeria maritime industry. The challenges were broken down into three categories: training related factors, facilities, and the psycho-social environment. On the training side, the researcher reported that Nigeria has made efforts to develop a comprehensive training program for seafarers with the guidelines provided by Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Standard Training Certification and Watch-keeping, STCW 95. It was reported that STCW training seeks to equip trainees with knowledge and skills to ensure maritime safety. The program covers topics such as basic safety, personal survival techniques, fire prevention and fire fighting, elementary first and personal safety, and social responsibilities.
3. Methodology
The study was carried out in five major maritime cities in Nigeria, including Lagos, Port Harcourt, Warri, Calabar, and Onne. These cities were selected based on the availability of seafarers, which is in line with the objectives of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006) aimed at ensuring the protection of seafarers’ rights. A multi-stage sampling technique was employed in the study. In the first stage, three cities, namely Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Warri, were purposively selected from the six maritime cities in Nigeria. Lagos, being the former capital city and the commercial nerve-center of Nigeria, and Port Harcourt, being the center for oil and gas business, were selected to ensure geographical spread and because they hold the highest number of seafarers. Warri was also selected because of its proximity to Lagos and Port Harcourt and its strategic position as the oil city of Delta State. In the second stage, marine training centers used for seafarers’ training in the selected cities were identified, and all the marine training centers were included in the study. However, due to the different number of seafarers that are being trained in these centers, a proportionate stratified sampling technique was used to select seafarers for interview. This allowed for the equal representation of seafarers from each of the selected centers in the sample. Data collection took place in two phases. In the first phase, quantitative data was collected from the management of marine training centers. This involved a total enumeration of the entire centers, and the administrators of the centers were required to fill in questionnaires related to the availability of training facilities, qualification and experience of instructors, training duration, and curriculum. The phase two of data collection involved qualitative data that was collected from seafarers using a pre-tested interview schedule. These interviews were conducted after careful selection of seafarers using proportionate stratified sampling based on the number of seafarers that are being trained in each of the marine training centers. The qualitative data provided vital information on seafarers’ views about the relevance and effectiveness of the training program. The study provided an overview of seafarers’ training programs in Nigeria, evaluated the effectiveness of these training programs, and identified gaps in the training programs. Also, the study identified factors that influence the effectiveness of seafarers’ training programs in Nigeria and analyzed these influencing factors. The results of this study have significant implications for both seafarers and policymakers in Nigeria. It will help to make a strong case for reform in seafarers’ training programs and provide a blueprint for the future development of training and education of seafarers. The findings of the study may also be relevant to other African countries and other third-world countries with similar problems and challenges in seafarers’ training.
3.1 Research Design
The first step conducted in the methodology was to identify the research designs that had been put into use and also to determine the appropriate design for the study. A research design can be defined as a framework or plan for a study. It specifies the types and sources of information to be used, the whereabouts of this information, and the likely problem areas that could be encountered along the way. The research can either be exploratory, conclusive, or casual. An exploratory research is usually carried out when a problem is not well identified and also when no precedent studies are available, while a conclusive research is carried out to draw some conclusion that leads to a course of action. Further, the casual research will measure the extent that something causes something else. The systematic design that was used in this research was a ‘Conclusive research design’, which involved the formulation of objectives and is considered more structured than exploratory research. This is because of the formalities in the statement of the problem, the definition of the purpose of the study, the statement of hypothesis if any, and the methods that would be used to answer the research questions. Such conclusions are more accurate and objective-oriented compared to exploratory research, which is informal on the basis of such things as ‘experience’ or ‘judgment’. The focus will be on the formulated research questions. Donal and Keegan (2010) added that there is no discovery and new knowledge during the course of exploratory research, whereas in conclusive research, success has been achieved on the exercise by discovering newly added knowledge, which is by achieving a course of action that leads to the goal that has been established. On the contrary, the casual research is only considered to be experimental, after iteration and after a form of development. During the research preparation, the design is made in such a manner that the casual effect can be elicited from the dependent variable with the manipulation of the independent variable.
3.2 Data Collection Methods
At first stage I planned to use questionnaires. But the sample size I want to study is 180. I brought out the doubt that I cannot collect needed amount of data by using questionnaires. At the end I went for an alternative choice that I believe to be better option. For my study I decided to conduct interview with a small group and ask for their commitment to the study. By using interview, researchers can give a better explanation about the questions and clearly define the terms used. There are a wide variety of types of interview method. I do not know which type of interviews will be best in my case whether it should be structured, semi-structure or unstructured interviews. According to Alan Bryman and Emma Bell (2007, 179), a semi-structured interview is an ‘interview guide provides a number of themes round which the interview is based. It is useful to have a consistent set of themes to follow but a range of methods can be employed’. I decided to use semi-interview methods because it enables interviewees to express their views in their own ways and it allows research to study those answers. So, I contact and decided the date, time and venue of the interview. Although I give the choice to the interviewees of where the interview will take place, I request the place to be appropriate and gives comfortable feeling in order to get good results. And after that, I explained to interviewees about the purpose of the research, the procedure and the ethical issues that will be maintained.
3.3 Sampling Techniques
Up to now, especially the sampling techniques, do not include any personal information at all. It might sound strange but that is what it is meant to be. And now I am going to bind myself to professional distance, to quantify the balloting method in its theory, the reasons why it is selected, search and random sampling techniques, and here is how it would apply to my research. And first, the balloting method. The balloting method requires a complete list of members of the inquiry population and my population would be the students from form four and form six. And I should have the entire list of students in these two forms, well, I mean, from the seafarers training. So every student or every unit of my population has a number, a unique identifier. And then, random numbers are generated by a computer. And these random numbers are then used to select units from the population. Every member of the population has a chance of being selected. And obviously, the advantage of balloting, balloting method is that it is a method that is effective at making products which are applicable, in the attempt to minimize the bias and to increase the applicability of a research finding to a group at large. And second, the search and random sampling techniques. The search method involves the selection of elements from an ordered list. This can be chronological. Every and certain numbers of units are selected at a specified interval.
3.4 Data Analysis
The primary goal of the data analysis in this study was to identify the most effective seafarers training program in Nigeria. The data collected from the respondents was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 22. This is a systematic, empirical investigation to find answers to relevant questions using mathematical and statistical techniques. First and foremost, the demographic information of the respondents was analyzed. This gives detailed data and realizes patterns that would not have been noticed otherwise. It also reflects the sample studied and thus generalization of the results. Secondly, the means and standard deviations of the effectiveness of each aspect of seafarers training program were analyzed. This will allow comparative analysis between various training programs in terms of their effectiveness. The results and the descriptive nature of this analysis will be presented in the form of charts and graphs. Thirdly, the One-Way ANOVA statistical test was used to determine whether there are any significant differences in the means of two or more groups. This is important in validating the findings from the descriptive and frequency findings. It was used to determine which training program discipline was a significant predictor of its effectiveness. Lastly, a regression analysis was done to predict the dependent variable based on the independent variable. The demographic information of seafarers, their perceptions in the training needs and the effectiveness outcome of the training program were analyzed. This helps to provide a deeper understanding of how effective each program is given a set of demographics and what training needs would most likely influence the program’s effectiveness. Overall, the diverse nature of the analysis has enabled a comprehensive findings and conclusion to be drawn at the end of the study. However, the main focus of this analysis is to identify which training program is the most effective in response to the research question.
4. Findings and Analysis
As per the maritime analysis, it is clear that there are almost 60,000 trained seafarers in Nigeria and this peruses is to a great extent financed by offshore oil industry administrators. Being one of the main economies in Africa and one of the largest petroleum derivative producers, it is obvious that Nigeria has a major potential to be one of the biggest suppliers of maritime faculty to the world’s ever-growing marine industry. All things considered, the effectiveness of the training system remained not yet clear, due to conflicting available data and information about it. It has been seen that most graduates are going for monthly mandatory administering positions without undergoing a proper professional cadetship, showing a rush of getting sea time too soon. It is this additional endeavor to gain sea time that also, to a degree, affected the duration of the training program and the support of these students too. However, in reality, the regulation and seriousness of being a sea time for a future captain and guiding watch is indeed distinctly different. Yet, it is probably the demand from industry for cheap guiding watches that forces most ship management companies to take the shortcut by squeezing in the time frame in order to train future guiding personnel to assume the responsibility of a watchkeeping onboard. Also, it is known that industry generally demands the most experienced mariner to hold the critical position and this essentially includes the first and the second in command, which form the structure of the vital watch. Where the first in command is fully responsible for the overall safety and the smooth functioning of the vessel, including controlling the practical performance of all equipment and machinery on board and at the same time ensuring that the environmental and safety regulations comply with relevant laws and the mariner is provided with a secure working environment. Also, the first in command will be appointed by the captain and is authorized and accountable for the safe navigation of the vessel and the crew’s safety as well. This is the reason why there is a significant and a notable difference between the training and learning inadvertently and the actual training for a commander and for a watchkeeping personnel. It is evident that the qualification and experiences under the current training system for a new seafarer may vary greatly, as the training for these future mates and captains will not adequately cover the crucial development in mindset and the oversight and interface for the role of leadership and the noble ambition of becoming a leader in control, which is essential and can be established from the international convention STCW 1978.
4.1 Overview of Seafarers Training Programs in Nigeria
To date, achieving seafarer status in Nigeria contains few twists and turns when compared to other professions. The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) established specific regulations for seafarers training as far back as 2008. The regulations recognized the importance of a viable seafarers training program for the growth and development of a robust maritime industry in Nigeria. A statutory backing for seafarers training program has been the establishment of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Program (NSDP), which is solely funded by NIMASA. The goal of the NSDP is to develop first-class seafarers with the capability to work on any vessel worldwide. Furthermore, the establishment of the National Seafarers Welfare Board which is responsible for the welfare of seafarers, has further placed the importance of formal seafarers training at the heart of the maritime industry in Nigeria. Historically, the age-long approach to seafarers training in Nigeria is through sea time experience. This is because most of the vessels operating in Nigerian coastal and inland waters are largely owned by foreigners. However, it is believed that the continuous involvement of foreign crews on board Nigerian-flagged vessels does not in any way improve the capacity development of Nigerian seafarers given the generational shift in the type of expertise and technology required on modern vessels. In other words, the generational shift in the type of expertise and technology required on modern vessels demand a departure from the age-long approach to seafarers training in Nigeria. This surely underscores the importance of a viable seafarers training program as China has now overtaken the Philippines as the world’s crewing capital as a result of deliberate efforts to effectively manage the dramatic changes in the global trade pattern and technological advancement in the shipping industry. Genetically, seafarers training program aims at enhancing proficiency and skills and achieving high level of trained human resources which is a cornerstone for the growth and development of a robust maritime industry. As a signatory to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) conventions, Nigeria has a duty to provide an effective legal framework for the training and certification of seafarers. However, for any seafarers training program to be effective, key success factors such as proper implementation, regular review and quality control of the program must be firmly anchored in the operation of the administration in charge of the program. This no doubt underscores the needs for the continuous engagement of seafarers, the awarding body and relevant stakeholders in any seafarers training program in Nigeria. The awarding body such as the National Seafarers Welfare Board has the responsibility of ensuring that the seafarers training program meets the international standards of training, assessment and certification of seafarers. However, the engagement of both the awarding body and seafarers do ensure that perception and organizational support for the seafarers’ learning, requirements analysis and the choice of programs, curricula and training strategies are put into consideration.
4.2 Evaluation of Training Effectiveness
The evaluation of the effectiveness of seafarers training in Nigeria is a key element to this research, because it assesses the extent to which such training achieves the desired impact. Effectiveness is typically measured in terms of how well a training program results in the intended outcomes for a trainee. There are two main scenarios: either the training is effective and trainees are performing better as a result of the training, or the training is not effective and the trainees are not showing any improvement. Taylor (2008) opined that the goal in evaluating a training program is to assess the impact of the training. According to her, it is not enough to show that participants like the training or the facilitators are knowledgeable. All these are good, but the most important is whether the training program produces the desired effect. This is in line with the views of Nte and Amah (2011) who believe that an evaluation of a training program needs to dig deeper and measure whether a training program is achieving the desired result. They argued that the absolute best way to measure the effectiveness of a training program is to link the training and the trainee’s performance on the job. In the Nigerian context, the fact that the tracking process of every seafarer undergoing any form of training in Nigeria is done online and that the premium documentation is not necessarily based upon submission of a school-based assessment. Yet the assessment system assesses the training undertaken in the variety of different processes and procedures used within that training program shows that the effectiveness of such training has a better chance of being monitored regularly using the advent of tracking systems in Nigeria. The result of a monitored assessment and the interactive charting system currently in use at the DMRI suggests at least that most seafarers’ training providers may find it easier to prove the effectiveness of the training program to various quality management system assessors. Also, Audu (2013) suggested that backed with modern and result-situated training equipment, Nigeria will produce highly trained seafarers that could act as a source of elite manpower to stimulate its economic development. He further argued that with the volume of international trade and maritime transportation, Nigeria as a country with rich seafarers’ potential can invest in modern and more effective training facilities to fully utilize its natural endowment for economic gain. It is established from these views that the evaluation and result of the research will go further to predict the finding that most of the training facilities may be centered in Lagos. The fact that all the considered providers for this research are running at their optimal level of training services in Lagos indicates there are greater potential to enhance and may emerge different levels of services in other areas of Nigeria. The aim of such consideration shows the need for an effective national seafarers’ development plan.
4.3 Identification of Training Gaps
During the research, it was observed that much of the focus of the seafarers’ training programs is on meeting the minimum standards required for international regulatory compliance, such as obtaining the STCW 95 and STCW 2010 certifications. While the acquisition of these certifications is crucial, as most of the modular and safety-related courses are set in line with the requirements of these certifications, the teaching content used for other less standardized training areas might have been diluted as a result. For example, the course content for a module on “Maritime Health and Safety” is usually very intense as instructors seek to cover the wide range of topics from occupational health risks to emergency first aid within the limited duration of the course. This means that the links between the different topics are usually explained in terms of how a specific safety problem could lead to an accident or emergency, rather than showing how different elements collectively connect to form a safe working environment. Such examples of rushed or overpacked course contents probably should not be the main concerns, as the direct impact on teaching and learning from those are local and easily rectifiable. However, the observation illustrates a common problem with seafarers’ training in Nigeria where the pressure for meeting professional requirements, both from the industry and the certification authorities, often means the existing resources and support for training activities struggle to cope with the rapid changes in the maritime technologies and the operational context, which is identified as one of the key issues for continuous development in teaching programs. The qualitative gap analysis study further confirms that the finding is valid across the board and it applies to both knowledge and practical skills-based training in different stages of a seafarer’s career. Also, the sources of such gaps not only stem from the professional requirements, the lack of suitable training facilities in Nigeria, language and cultural differences from the Western mariners’ knowledge expectations have also been identified as potential obstacles for effective training in certain areas.
4.4 Analysis of Factors Influencing Training Effectiveness
Thirdly, the questionnaire was designed to provide aggregate data about factors influencing seafarers’ training considering the various levels of management in the maritime industry in Nigeria. All the questions in the questionnaire were said to have studied and established the various factors that were found to influence effective seafarers’ training outcomes. The Likert scale was employed for the simple analysis and ease in what is said to be nominal group tabulation method. The nominal groups are an approach to data collection which was said to originate in Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, which called for some structured form of physical meeting as a way to collect and share rich data from respondents. The surveys were then distributed to every administrative leader in the maritime industry in Nigeria. From the responses collected and analyzed, which involved both the top, medium, and lower level leaders in the industry, it was said that the same premise of demystifying the management culture started. The analysis study revealed that the first two higher order factors, which include the human capacity development influence and organizational management priorities, amount to a total variance of 53.65%. The two higher order factors were further explained using the multiple regression analysis and it was revealed that the shared variance of each of all these two higher order factors indicates that they serve as a strong platform for the dependent factors and that gives credence to go for management change in the industry. The human capacity development influence was seen to be the most significant factor with all other factors loading on it; this has been well explained with the multiple regression analysis. Organizational management parameters, both in terms of leadership and finally the overall platform of the current system of operationalization, were also supporting the human factors capacity development, which was as well discovered to be the most significant. Next in the findings was that the total variation shown by all these factors put together unequivocally tends to project the current state of managerial performance globally. This became imperative because of the fact that the international standards of implementation of seafarers’ training have a strong bearing on the training needs analysis and the managerial performance because without proper management platforms, seafarers may not be absorbed effectively. It was concluded that engaging in a continual awareness process and facilitating a clear strategy were seen to lead to better organizational change, especially in seafarers’ training outlets. On a final note, the current research findings perpetuate the evidential values with the need to proactively.
5. Conclusion and Recommendations
Based on the findings and analysis, it’s clear that seafarers undergo regulated and extensive training starting with basic maritime training in Nigeria and overseas. The strategic implementation of International Maritime Organization conventions and the use of technology has greatly impacted on the delivery and contents in the training of seafarers in Nigeria. However, there is a gap between the standards required and what is being delivered. Factors such as inadequate facilities and effective teaching, overcrowded curriculum with excess course contents and poor planning and evaluation practice among others are responsible for lessening the expected effectiveness of seafarers training in Nigeria. Therefore, there is an urgent need for deliberate attention aimed at addressing the gaps identified in order to achieve the purpose of the training and the requirements of the standard of competence of seafarers. A continuous development and improved effectiveness of seafarers training is required for the developmental strategies of the maritime industry. I recommend that Nigerian seafarers’ training curriculum should be properly harmonized with the international requirements by adopting the relevant parts of the International Maritime Organization Model Courses. The administration of the seafarers’ training should put machinery in place to check the proliferation of irrelevant course contents into the curriculum. Teachers and trainers should give room for individual students’ learning desires and not always follow structured plans that are usually teachers’ centered. This becomes more meaningful when teachers are properly reoriented and exposed to the modern practice of teaching in the training and re-training programs. Also, the teachers’ performance in course and assessment management should be properly evaluated. This evaluation will include seeking the opinion of the students on each course offered by the teachers so that an improvement action plan could be developed. I also recommend that the administration and management of the various seafarers’ training institutions in Nigeria should provide a good level of infrastructural and learning resources support for both teachers and students. The training institutions should adopt and implement quality management systems which consist of a well-detailed document and practice standard operating procedures. This will help to ensure a consistent and visible standard practice in both teaching and assessment. The implementation of the quality management system could be phased which needs to be followed with internal and external audits that will give the actual picture of the level of conformity to the requirements and the extent of improvement necessary.
5.1 Summary of Findings
Although the efficacy of the training provided by Nigerian seafarers in enhancing safety of navigation could not be ascertained, due mainly to the lack of requirements for on-board training, the study found a number of gaps in the provision of seafarers training in Nigeria. Firstly, so long as the existing fire, as well as the basic safety training school, remained unchanged, no students were to benefit from practical fire fighting and fire prevention demonstrations. Secondly, the mandatory sea time attachment, the important final stage of the cadet training programme, was not realisable due primarily to the reluctance of established seafarers to accept students on board their ships. Consequently, the training offered to potential seafarers may not be effective. The study found that several changes and developments in the design and delivery of seafarers training may be required. These developments are partly as a result of recent international requirement on seafarers training and partly due to issues and problems facing the current Nigerian students and seafarers. For instance, the findings suggest that the provision of more shipboard and marine workshop practices on-board training will give student seafarers more opportunities to learn skills and knowledge. This can be achieved by improving the structure of the academic year so that the students will spend more time on practical work. The study also found that students would benefit from access to proper and suitable workshops and simulators for their studies. The findings also revealed that there seem to be an experience gap between the lecturers and the ship masters, with the former having never engaged in the latter. The study suggests that to ensure that the latest international safety requirements and practices are imparted to students, there is need for shore-based lecturers to refresh and update their teaching staff by spending time on attachment on board ship and attending professional courses. This is the way that the knowledge and expertise of the ship masters is brought to the academy for the seafarers of the future. These key findings were used to develop a draft maritime growth and standards bill, which provided that the standards of maritime education and training would be monitored and proper resources provided to enable the effective discharge of tasks. The study then led to the development of the 1998 white paper “All Our Futures: From the Academy to the Learning Society” which identified the need to modernise maritime education and training through the use of modern technology and a more practical curriculum. This gives a clear vision of the need for change and the government’s strategy in achieving these changes, as well as the general direction the maritime education and training would take. However, the paper also acknowledges that these changes would need time and resources in order to come into effect; for instance, the development of the bridge simulator has a long way to go before it can realise its full potential as it will need qualified operators and comprehensive technical support.
5.2 Implications for Seafarers Training
The findings of the research study indicate that the current training programs for seafarers in Nigeria are not effective enough to provide the necessary knowledge and skills to the trainees. The study shows that the effectiveness of seafarers training programs is influenced by a number of interrelated factors including outdated training facilities and technologies, inadequate resources for training, poor staff development programs, the lack of focus on continuous improvement in the training programs, as well as the inadequate integration of seafarers training with relevant maritime industry stakeholders. The available training programs are still using traditional teaching techniques which have been proven to be less effective compared to modern and innovative teaching and learning methods. The findings suggest that seafarers training programs in Nigeria should be focused on improving trainees’ critical thinking skills, creativity, teamwork, problem-solving abilities, use of modern technology and digital resources, use of experiential learning methods, as well as fostering a learner-centered training environment, among other things. The training curriculum should be dynamic and flexible enough to accommodate new industry requirements and changes in the international maritime regulations. The continuous development and improvement of training programs should be a collaborative effort involving maritime industry stakeholders, policy makers, training providers, and educational institutions. In order to provide a relevant and up-to-date seafarers training, the study recommends that the government should establish a dedicated body entrusted with the responsibility of setting and monitoring training standards, and overseeing the certification and approval of training courses and programs. The government should also establish scholarship programs and fiscal incentives targeting at promoting staff professional development for instructors and lecturers involved in seafarers training. This could help in promoting a greater sense of commitment to the improvement and implementation of quality training programs. On the other hand, the government should encourage training providers to embrace modern technology and current trends in the delivery of training. This can be achieved through the provision of funds and resources for the establishment of e-learning platforms and the development of maritime simulation and training centers with modern training facilities. The study also recommends the formulation of continuous improvement and quality assurance mechanisms which should involve regular self-assessment exercises and training effectiveness evaluation programs by training providers. This is vital in identifying areas for improvement in the training programs. The study recommends further research that will focus on evaluating the impact of individual factors that affect seafarers training effectiveness. The findings from this research will help in providing detailed and more specific guidance on how best the different factors can be addressed in order to achieve a desired training outcome.
5.3 Recommendations for Enhancing Training Effectiveness
Firstly, to enhance the effectiveness of seafarers training in Nigeria, this study recommends that the National Seafarers Development Program (NSDP) should provide cadets with sea time experience through an intensive and well-structured onboard training program. The study also recommends that the current onboard assessment of cadets, commonly referred to as the Cadet Training Assessment Program (CTAP), should be reviewed and improved to meet the international requirements for seafarers’ training as outlined in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) convention and other industry best practices. Another important recommendation is for the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to invest in human capacity development for instructors involved in the training of seafarers. This is because human capacity development is vital for the effective utilization of simulators in the delivery of training across all levels of the seafarers training programs. The study suggests that although significant progress has been made on the use of simulators for basic and advanced level of seafarers’ training in Nigeria, more needs to be done in order to achieve the desired effectiveness. The study further recommends that the authorities responsible for seafarers’ training and certification in Nigeria should pay special attention to the need to enhance the learning environment for cadets in the maritime academy. In this regard, actions should be taken to improve the physical and learning resources and ensure that the instructors adopt modern and student-centered teaching methods that focus on effective knowledge and skills transfer. In addition, it is recommended that both the management of the maritime academy and the seafarers’ training authorities in Nigeria should create and sustain a positive organizational culture that fosters professionalism and commitment to continuous improvement among the instructors and other staff. This is because the attainment of higher levels of training effectiveness and the overall success of seafarers’ training programs critically depend on the collective effort and the working atmosphere in the training institutions. By enhancing the effectiveness of seafarers’ training programs, this study envisages a number of potential benefits to the individual cadets, the training institutions, as well as the maritime industry in Nigeria. For instance, a more effective and well-structured onboard training program could provide the cadets with not only the relevant sea time experience but also the opportunity to learn and put into practice the theoretical knowledge and soft skills acquired in the classroom. This will no doubt help to build their confidence and enhance their overall competencies for a successful career at sea. On the other hand, the management of the maritime academy and the seafarers’ training authorities in Nigeria may see improvements in the global ratings of the academy in terms of training facilities, curriculum and the general quality of education. Such improvements could enhance the academy’s appeal to potential applicants and also provide greater opportunities for collaborative initiatives with foreign training institutions and maritime organizations – a development that could raise the profile and competitiveness of Nigerian seafarers in the international maritime labor market.

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