The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA) has said that it has concluded plans to engage Vietnam and Turkish government to provide adequate sea time for cadets of the Nigeria Seafarers Development Program(NSDP), adding that it is already working with other countries like UK , Egypt amongst others.
NIMASA also said that it is in talk with members of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) to find a home grown solution to the problem of sea time for cadets.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside who said this recently in a chat with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos also said that the agency has been able to place some cadets on board sea going vessels.
He said; “In the area of manning, we have done a lot of interventions and one of them is the Nigeria Seafarers Development Program (NSDP). We have so far trained closed to 2, 000 persons under that scheme. The challenge all along has been sea time,but we have made a lot of progress in recent time, we have engaged two schools in India, we have engaged the Arab Academy in Egypt, in UK and we are likely to engage a school in Vietnam and another one in Turkey to provide sea time for our people”.
“In the next one month, in any case in the past few months we have placed a lot of our people on board ocean-going vessels. We are also talking with Ship Owners Association of Nigeria to find a home-grown solution to the problem of sea time for our cadets and for our prospective graduates”, he added.
Dakuku reiterated the agency’s commitment in seeing that in the next few years from now, the nation will be able to produce different cadre and genres of maritime professionals even as he expressed satisfaction at the recently held matriculation ceremony of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerekoko.
“In addition, you know that we gave seed money for the establishment of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerekoko and I am proud to say that just recently, the university had her first matriculation where over 300 students got admitted to institution and it has fully taken off”
“We believe that in the next few years, we will have all genre and cadre of maritime professionals. We are also supporting a number of maritime institutes around the country, all to build capacity of our people and to raise a number of professionals in house”, he said.
According to the NIMASA DG, the agency has started an attachment programme for practitioners, he added that the review of nation’s ship registry is to ensure a more friendly business environment.
“For us in NIMASA, we have also started an attachment programme where we attach our professionals to established maritime administrations around the world to acquire necessary skills and build their competence”, he explained.
“In the area of the Nigerian Ship Registration Office, we empowered the Engineer Emmanuel Ilori stakeholders committee to look at the Nigerian ship registry with a view to making it business friendly and compete with the best globally. I am very glad to say to you that they have had preliminary discussions with Lloyds of London and some other major societies and ship registry in the world. And I am happy to say that a number of them are excited to work with us in Nigeria. it is my believe that at the end of the review process, we will reposition the Nigerian Ship Registration office and make her one of the most competitive in the African continent if not the world”, he concluded.