Kunle Kalejaye 23 March 2015, Sweetcrude, Lagos – President Goodluck Jonathan has given kudos to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, over its Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme, NSDP, describing it as an essential part of youth development in the maritime sector and the country.
President Jonathan commended NIMASA over the success of the programme when he visited Lagos at the weekend during which he was hosted to a reception by the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum.
The President, while acknowledging the vision of the management of NIMASA at ensuring the placement of the young Nigerians in reputable maritime institutions across the globe, admonished the beneficiaries of the programme to exhibit great professionalism when they take on the global challenges in the maritime sector after the completion of the mandatory National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, which they are currently undertaking.
Jonathan emphasised that human capacity development for young Nigerians was critical to the growth and development of the country and as such no effort would be spared at making sure the NSDP and similar programmes were sustained.
The President said “As a nation, if you must prepare for the future of the country you must invest in the young people in the country, and as a nation you don’t go back but move forward.”
Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, said the graduates had made him proud as scores of them made top grades at the final examinations in Egypt and the United Kingdom.
According to NIMASA boss, “This is a motivation and will aid continuation of the scheme. We thank Mr. President for his support in seeing to the success of this programme and for keeping us on our toes in the discharge of our duties in NIMASA to realise the objective.”
Akpobolokemi also expressed appreciation to the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar for his support in the agency’s human capacity development drive.
The graduates were full of appreciation to NIMASA for the rare opportunity accorded them to meet and interact with the President.
They individually and as a group promised the President that the enormous resources expended by government towards the successful completion of their programmes in Egypt and the United Kingdom was money well spent and they would not fail the President and the nation when they eventually commence work in their chosen careers.
Speaking on behalf of the NSDP graduates, Raphael Oluwafemi Faboro said, “I will like to appreciate the President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for making it possible for us to have a good life and good future. Sir, I will like to say you have given us a good opportunity and as professionals in the maritime sector, we are ready to go to the world and to also take charge of the Nigerian Cabotage trade. Indeed, you are our hero.”
The beneficiaries of the NSDP graduated from the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Alexandria, Egypt and the South Tyneside College, New Castle, United Kingdom. They studied various courses such as marine engineering, nautical science, naval architecture, amongst others.
In all, over 2,500 beneficiaries of the programme are also undergoing maritime-related courses in the Philippines, India and Romania.