NIMASA budgets N30bn to train 5,000 seafarers

*Sends 191 cadets to Egypt for training

Toju Vincent

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has said it is targeting to train over 5,000 seafarers in the next 10 years following the big emphasise on training under the National Seafarers Development Programme, NSDP.

Disclosing this to SweetcrudeReports at the send forth party for 191 young
Nigerian cadets being sent to the Arab Academy for Science Technology and Maritime Transport in Alexandria Egypt, NIMASA’s Director General, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, stated that thousands of young Nigerians would have gone through the training in the next 10 years.

This, according to him, would further boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

Akpobolokemi said the agency would be dedicating a large chunk of its budget to the sea time training aspect of the programme, adding that the training would be a complete package that would see these category of Nigerians well-equipped for the future.

The agency boss also explained that the government is developing maritime institutions along side the NSDP project

“At the pace we are going, all things being equal, a few thousands of Nigerians would have been trained at the end of the decade,” he added.

The coordinator of the National Seafarers Development Programme, Mrs Irene Macfoy, also told SweetcrudeReports that over a thousand cadets have been sent abroad for the training and that they went to the Philippines and other parts.

Macfoy explained that the move to embark on the training project was to fill the expected 250,000 vacancies that will exist in the seafaring profession by the years 2025. This has been projected by the International Maritime Organisation, IMO.

She stated that all things being equal, about 5,000 Nigerians would have gone through the programme by the end of the decade.

The NSDP coordinator further stated that the government, through the agency, introduced the training project in 2009 with a view to bridging the projected employment gap in the seafaring profession.

“You are aware of the liquidation of the Nigerian National Shipping Line and ever since then there has been a dearth in the human capacity in the maritime sector.

“NIMASA being the apex maritime regulatory agency had to take the bull by the horn by finding a way of filling that vacuum and this was how the National Seafarers Developing Programme was conceived,” she said.

The NSDP was initiated in 2009 by the then NIMASA Director General, Dr. Ade Dosunmu.

Nigerian cadets for Egypt maritime academyAt the send-forth party for the 191 young Nigerian cadets to the Arab Academy for Science Technology and Maritime Transport in Alexandria, Egypt, Akpobolokemi, NIMASA DG, warned the cadets to be good ambassadors of the country, urging them not to waste government investment on them.

He told them that the agency decided to take this initiative on them with a view to creating a brighter future for young Nigerians so as to contribute to the economic development of the country.

The NIMASA boss also stated that the sea time aspect of the training has also been incorporated into the entire package of the academy and that the cadets will not only complete the programme but could be employed at the end of their training.

He also warned the cadets to align themselves to the law and culture of their host country and abide by the rules in the school.

“Please when you go there, do not make trouble, do not be involved in rape, do not be involved in drugs, do not be involved in anything that will mar your progress, do not form yourselves into groups that will stand against the school’s authority,” he added.

Executive Director, Maritime Safety, Bala Agaba, also attended the same institution over thirty years ago.

The Director General explained that it was the hope of the agency to make Nigeria number one in Africa in terms of human capacity in the maritime industry, stating that with that, Nigeria could begin to compete with the Philippines.

Although the agency’s management was silent on the amount so far invested in the National Seafarers Development Programme, it was gathered nthat the amount runs into billions of Naira.

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