By Eseoghene Emuke
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, has said the Nigerian Navy will partner and support professional safety bodies in the maritime sector towards providing the needed manpower for safer maritime operations across the nation’s waterways.
Speaking at the unveiling and commissioning of Opeans Safety Training Centre at Opete community in Udu Local Government of Delta State on Friday, Ibas expressed happiness that more safety centres were now springing up the safety need of the sector.
CSN said the availability of world-class training facilities at the Opeans Safety Centre, the nation was gradually moving towards filling the vacuum in the training of personnel working in the maritime sector.
Represented by the commander, Forward Operational Base (FOB), Capt. Shehu Tasiu, he described as “impressive”, the training of its personnel by the management of Opeans Nigeria Limited.
Opeans, a duly accredited safety consultancy firm in Nigeria has been around for three decades with Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited as its first business cleint, has extended its services to other oil and gas producing and servicing companies as well as the maritime industry.
Noting that the expansion of the company’s facilities is a needed development, Ibas, who commissioned the training centre, assured that the Nigerian Navy will continue to partner with the firm to ensure safety in the maritime environment.
“The establishment of this training centre is a step in the right direction. Next is to provide the best possible training which I am glad to note that, it is the mission of Opeans and what Opeans is known for. With this cocktail of clear vision and quality training, I have no doubt that you would be a world class training provider.
“It is also gratifying to commend the impressive results of the training given to personnel of the Nigerian Navy. I am sure the result is not different with other organisations.
“Let me assure OPEANS Nig Ltd that the Nigerian Navy will always support your ideals of shaping the maritime work environment by making people work safer in the performance of their duties,” Ibas said.
In his address, Executive director of Opeans Nigeria Limited (ONL), Dr. Ben Nwoye, disclosed that the center prides itself on best health and safety practices as can be obtained across the globe.
He also noted that it is the only safety training firm to have established two centres in Nigeria, the first in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
Nwoye, while mentioning some training which includes Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET), designed by Europe’s Safetech, revealed that the centre awaits the delivery of its advanced Wave Simulator for its swimming pool.
He further commended the Nigerian Navy whose personnel were first to receive Opeans’ HUET and Air Crew training in 2012, the Nigerian Air Force, as well as the Nigerian Army for “the opportunity to participate in our own little way in the protection of our dear nation.”
The event later saw a display of helicopter water crash survival and other trainings offered by the institution.
The new center has a capacity of 120 students’ classrooms, medical emergency personnel, an ambulance and fully equipped sickbay, as well as a 24 room lodging facility still undergoing construction.
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