Establish Maritime Training, Certification Center--- Group Tells Transport Minister 

Cruises ships are seen docked at Miami port as the tourism industry is affected by the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Miami, last week  

The Nigerian Maritime Society in Diaspora {NIMSID} has appealed to the federal government through the Minister of Transportation; Mr Rotimi Amaechi to establish an autonomous training center which will address the issue of maritime certification as its done in all advance maritime nations in the world,

The group identified this as one of the major reasons Nigerian seafarers are being denied opportunities of serving in foreign shipping companies even though they have what it takes,

The group believes that NIMASA does not have business issuing seafarers or offshore workers Certificates of Competency (COC).

It argued that, in an ideal maritime society, there is always a maritime certification center which is saddle with such responsibility. In the real sense of it, when students are through with their studies, they go and sit for their COC examination to enable them get their license(s),those centers also serve as a training point for Ratings (OS)who wish to pick up a career in sailing ,offshore workers as well as for officers who need certificate upgrade as the case may be

“NIMSID believes that with the establishment of such a center, NIMASA will have less job to do, it will help NIMASA to concentrate on regulating and supervision of maritime activities as it relates to safety.

According to NIMSID, “advance maritime countries like United Kingdom, India, Panama, Poland, Canada, Ukraine, Australia, USA etc, all have this autonomous training centers”.

It added that, “this training center is necessary because Nigerian seafarers are losing out greatly, even as Nigeria COC is of no value in the eyes of the international maritime community, because our certification template is wrong and outdated, this also explains why Nigerian seafarers always traveled down to Ghana for their COC and certificate upgrade”

 “We maintain that NIMASA or (MAN) Oron do not have business conducting competency examination, the job of Oron is to provide students with basic theoretical and practical knowledge to prepare them for the sea job, while the job of NIMASA is to check and confirm those documents presented to them from maritime institutions”

“Training and certification (licensing) should be done by an independent maritime agency and not NIMASA or MAN Oron”.

Although Nigeria is on IMO White List, but in practical term, she is not, this is so because those who head the maritime agency have not done enough to facilitate process to get other maritime nations to recognize our seafarer's license (COC), this is worrisome and this has affected our seafarer. we hope something urgent will be done about this. 

It reiterated the call for the establishment of a Maritime Training Center to solve the problems associated with certification of seamen in general.