Posted February 20, 2020
DREDGING stakeholders have blamed the absence of proper training of upcoming dredgers for economic lose and damages of dredging equipment by workers in the sector.
The stakeholders made this known at a training workshop for dredgers in Lagos.
They decried that the present system where upcoming dredgers rely on hands-on training from those who also learnt through the same process. Sales Manager of Julong To Ltd., Omoroghene Godian, who spoke at a workshop said a lot of dredging companies have had their dredgers damaged as a result of employment of unskilled workers.
Godian noted that in the course of his consultation with dredging companies, he had advised many of them to either re-train or hire more competent dredge operators.
Similarly, a media practitioner, Edmond Chilaka, told Vanguard Maritime Report that there is lack of properly educated dredging operators in the country, as a result his company intends to establish a school to bridge the gap in the sector.
He said the school is expected to commence before the end of this year, adding that most dredging operators in the country today learnt their trade by observing others.
According to him, “In the Nigeria dredging industry, especially in the indigenous dredging, we do not have certificated workers. All the workers we have are people who will tell you they have experience with Westminster Dredging or Gendenor or they will tell you they have experience with Julius Berger or one dredging company or the other.
“These are not people who went to any school or classroom to study about mechanisms of dredging, the theories of dredging, the concept of dredging, types of sand mining and things like that.
“They do not know any of these, all they have done is that they have been employed in those companies. So you find out that we have a lot of skilled gap, we have a lot of quackery in their understanding and practice of the job.
“Because of that, they cost the dredging companies a lot. They make lots of errors, any dredgers have been ruined as a result of poor handling, because of incompetence, because they do not have the skills. These people just learn by watching others operate, they were not taught. We want to bridge the gap, we want to mend the divide, that handicap by putting them in classrooms and teaching them.
“The school will not be theory alone but will also be practical based, they doing to spend time on board dredgers. They are going to spend a lot of time, almost 2/3 of the time on dredgers. They would be students are going to have a lot of proper dredging knowledge, practical on the dredgers,” he concluded.