Operatives of the Nigerian Navy NNS Jubilee in Akwa Ibom on Sunday closed the premises of an illegal Merchant Seaman Maritime Academy at Ikot Aduto in Essien Udim local Government area of Akwa Ibom State.
The Navy also arrested the owner of the Academy, a self styled Captain, Adams Pius and nine others, including two women, for allegedly operating the fake merchant navy academy.
About 95 students of the illegal Seaman Academy, who were adorned in Nigerian Navy uniform, were also disbanded and asked to return home.
Other suspects were mostly the lecturers of the school, which the Navy claimed had been in operation for quite some time now and had many graduates as staffs.
Briefing newsmen shortly after sealing of the premises, Mudiaga Ejumabone (Captain) and Executive Officer NNS Jubilee Ikot Abasi who led the operation said the Merchant Seaman Academy, is not an approved institution.
He added that the only institution that trains merchant navy in the country is Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Transport.
Ejumabone who represented the Commander NNS Jubilee, Saidu Garba accused the proprietor of the school Adams Pius of parading himself as a Captain in the school adding that he had never attended any Navy school.
He stated that the academy did not have any legal backing to operate and that it was neither registered nor approved by the Ministry of Transport as Maritime training Institution.
‘’Some of these people often deceive would-be recruits that it has affiliation with Nigerian Navy and the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, as their uniforms resemble naval uniforms and accoutrements.”
As you can see they are impersonating, especially with their mode of dressing, which is similar to the naval uniform, causing a big embarrassment to the Nigerian Navy.
“The nefarious activities of these so-called seafarers, if not nipped in the bud, would continue to constitute serious security problems in the country.
Once the products of this training programme cannot secure jobs, they might become ready tools to be used as thugs, armed robbers, assassins and possibly, militants.”
But the Adams the proprietor of the school said the school was registered by the Federal Ministry and National Board for Technical Education NABTE.
He said he studied in Ghana as a Marine Engineer and has never attended any naval training school before, but bestowed on himself the naval rank of Captain to reflect the nomenclature of seaman school which is generally used by mariners.