"70% of Graduates from Nigerian Maritime University Will Become Jobless"-----Ship owner

Even as the federal government has promised to re-open the Nigeria Maritime University before the end of the year, a shipowner and member of the Nigerian Shipowners Association, Capt Deji Abegunde has said that many of the cadets who would graduate from the school will not have jobs.In a chat with Shipping Position Daily last week, Abeg under said that the same fate of joblessness is currently confronting graduates of the Nigerian Seafarers Welfare Programme  (NSDP); a pet programme of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) According to him, the major problem confronting Nigerian cadets is the lack of sea time experience due to lack of functioning Nigerian vessels. He advised that the Federal government should tackle this challenge headlong before opening the maritime university. Abegunde also blamed the situation on the non-functionality of Nigerian vessels due to activities of Cabotage Act saboteurs who approved waivers for foreign shipowners to run young indigenous shipping businesses down in Nigeria. "70 per cent of the graduates from the university will become jobless, I mentioned sea time palaver on this platform when NIMASA graduated some cadets abroad. My opinion then was unacceptable, but today, it has come to pass""The NSDP cadets still remain cadets because of few or no Nigerian ship is functioning. We will dance to the tune of our mediocrity. Tribalism, love of money and perversion of Justice" Abeg statedThe Constanta Maritime University in Romania reportedly makes about €1.5 million (over N500 million at current rate )per year from Nigeria through scholarship granted by Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, to over 300 Nigerian students a few years ago.The windfall accruing to the top maritime college may however stop any time soon as federal government reopens Nigeria Maritime University before the end of the year.Recall that in a statement signed by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity Office of the Vice President recently, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the university should resume before the end of the year.The decision is in line with the demands championed by major stakeholders in the region, the presidency said.According to the statement, the implementation would be coordinated by a 5-man inter-agency Committee headed by the Minister of Education,Mallam Adamu Adamu.Other members of the Committee will be drawn from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, National Universities Commission (NUC), NIMASA and Office of the Deputy Governor of Delta State.The Committee, which is to collaborate with the current principal officers and the governing council of the institution, will finalize processes towards the opening of the university in the 2017/2018 academic session.The re-opening of the university was one of the 16-point-agenda presented before President Muhammadu Buhari by leaders from Niger Delta as one of the requirements for peace in the region.When Vice President Yemi Osibanjo visited the region on a fact finding mission early in the year, he promised that the university would be opened soon. The presidency has also pledged to revive effort to establish Modular Refineries in the Niger Delta.The criteria for issuing operating licenses are already in final stages of drafting and would be released soon, the presidency said.