The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); Hadiza Bala Usman (10th from left), the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru (11th from left) and other officials of the both agencies in a group photograph at the NNPC Headquarters in Abuja after a visit by the NPA last week.
Immediate past president of the Nigerian Institute of Shipping (NIS);Mr. John Egesi, has said that most of the nation’s old master mariners who were recruited during the era of the Nigerian National Shipping Lines(NNSL) retired because of inadequate ships in the country.
Mr. Egesi who disclosed this in a chat with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos last week, also said that it is the job of shipping companies to train seafarers.
He also complained of insufficient number of seafarers, saying that the nation does not have enough seafarers.
“And it is the job of the shipping companies themselves to train people, but they open their mouths to say things that are unintelligible. Yes the old Captains that trained during the time of the NNSL have all retired and they retired because we don’t have ships. Well has anybody ever asked that he wants to employ one and he didn’t see?
There is this tendency in this sector of people opening their mouths and just saying what they like. It is not as if we have a lot of seafarers that we can’t train, but where are the shipping companies?”
Egesi, who is also a former Director General of the defunct National Maritime Authourity also, reiterated that seafaring thrived in the 1970s because there were shipping lines like the NNSL.
“You know the tradition in this sector, it is not what the parents will say go and become a seafarer, we will send you to the university, it is not done like that it is because of the demand that cause young men and women to go for seafaring. When government set up the NNSL in 1968-1969, they called for people; I was one of the people that were called around 1970 to become a seafarer, cadet and so on although I didn’t pursue the case to the end”, he said.
“Have you ever seen anybody that will go to UI or any other university to study seafaring, no it is not. It is people that ask for seafaring, so when people say some of these things to me they are just making noise” he concluded.