15 January 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Nigerian Trawler Operators Association NITOA and other maritime stakeholders have commended the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA’s Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme, NSDP.
This comes on the heels of the flag-off ceremony of the first phase of the NIMASA fully sponsored sea time training for the cadets of the NSDP scheme, held recently in Lagos.
Speaking at the event, the former President, Nigerian Trawler Operators Association (NITOA) and the Chief Executive Officer MORBOD Fisheries Limited, Barrister (Mrs.) Margaret Orakwusi commended the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside for his determination and commitment to issues affecting capacity building in the sector.
In her words, “you have made the unemployable people to be employable; this is to say we now have highly trained professionals in the nation’s maritime sector”.
She also used the opportunity to enjoin the beneficiaries to maintain the high standard they have set for themselves by aiming for excellence.
In the same vein, a maritime law expert, Barrister Mike Igbokwe, SAN commended the Dr. Dakuku Peterside led Management of NIMASA and added that the essence of the Cabotage regime is beginning to unfold, as it intends to ensure 100 percent participation of Nigerians in its Cabotage trade.
While also stating that the Cabotage Act gave birth to the NSDP training as a result of the gap in the seafaring profession, which is due to the dearth of professionals in the sector, he used the opportunity to call on the Cadets to become trainers of trainees so that there is no gap as far as manning is concerned, thereby allowing room for the full actualization of the Cabotage Act.
Similarly, the Vice President of the Nigerian Ship-owners Association (NISA) and the Chief Executive Officer of Sea Transport Services Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Aminu Umar expressed delight at the opportunity NIMASA has given to the Cadets to make a profession in the maritime sector noting that his company is willing to employ some of them as soon as they have completed their mandatory sea time training.
According to him, there is about 60 percent Nigerian seafarers in his company and he expressed optimism that in no distant time, it will reach the 100 percent target of the Cabotage regime. He also called on the Cadets to seize the rear opportunity and maximize it, so that they can become better professionals and make Nigeria proud. “You are the future of the Nigerian maritime sector”, he said.
On his part, a Surveyor and maritime Stakeholder, Engr. Emmanuel Ilori also congratulated the Cadets and observed that they have taken up a challenging job that requires discipline. He charged them to be good ambassadors in their host countries and added that they are being expected back in the country to take over the administration and manning of the sector.
He commended NIMASA for the feat attained in its quest to enhance capacity building in the sector and pledged the continuous support of Stakeholders in the industry to any developmental initiative that can help move the maritime sector forward so that Nigeria can compete favourably with its counterparts in the international maritime community.
The Vice President, African and Asian Affair, Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, who described shipping as a noble profession, also commended the Management of NIMASA for conceiving the NSDP initiative. He also applauded the Cadets for always conducting themselves well during their course of studies.
The high point of the event was the award of scholarship for Master Degrees by the Arab Academy to three female cadets who had distinctions in their fields of study.
Earlier, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside reiterated the Agency’s commitment to capacity building, noting that it is the only sure means of sustenance for the sector.
He congratulated the Cadets for being the chosen ones amongst millions of Nigerians and admonished them to remain good ambassadors of Nigeria in their host country and that they should make Nigeria proud. He also assured that everyone that participated in the NSDP scheme will certainly be given a sea time training opportunity, but hinted that it will be done in batches.
The NSDP scheme was conceived in 2008 and it has continued to receive the attention of succeeding government. This is as a result of the commitment and realization of the importance of capacity building to the growth and sustenance of the sector.