A cross section of students at the 2018 Edition of ‘A Day With Nigeria Maritime Students’ organised by Platforms Communications
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said that even though the Cabotage Act has ensured that substantial number of Nigerian seafarers have been placed on board vessels, some are still unemployed because they lack the specialized training required before they can man some vessels.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. DAkuku Peterside who disclosed this in an interview last week, also said that the spaces that have not been filled are on board specialized vessels that are capital intensive assets that will take up to 5 to 10 years for someone to acquire the required training to be able to work on them.
Explaining further, he said “If you talk about manning, there are specialized skills that will take up to 5 to 10 years to acquire for you to go on board and operate in those specialized vessels. Now if you look at the remaining 30%, there cases where we have specialized cases where you need specialized training to go on board those vessels”
According to him, the issue of participations of Nigerians in shipping is receiving positive attention in accordance with the Cabotage Act adding that NIMASA is working with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to make some forecast for the sector.
“If you look at the issue of promotion and participation of Nigerians in shipping which is also positive under the Cabotage Act. It is our mandate to ensure that Nigerians are on vessels and take the dominant role in our local trading. We are now working with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, now making some forecast of what we need in the industry in the next 2 to 3 years and say to the industry players that this is the type of vessels we need in the next two or three years”
Specifically, he disclosed that, “before 2015 we had 262 vessels registered under the Cabotage regime. Now that has increased to about 420-430 vessels; that is almost double in three years despite the fact that the economy was stagnated at a time” he concluded.