12 January 2015, Abuja – The Federal Government trained over 2,500 youths as seafarers under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) in the last four years, the Maritime Watch Dog has said.
The group’s Legal Adviser/General Secretary, Mac-Johnson Odey, told reporters in Lagos that the administration’s commitment to the NSDP is unwavering. According to him, when Nigerians take over the industry, the country would save the over N3 billion lost yearly to foreign seafarers.
Odey recalled that since the liquidation of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL), training of seafarers in Nigeria ceased, adding that it led to the dearth of indigenous seafarers. “While those trained by the NNSL were ageing, there was no replacement and apparently no government thought it wise to invest in encouraging and training young Nigerians to become seafarers until recently,” he said.
Odey praised the the administration for building a shipyard/dockyard for repairs and maintenance of ships, barges, and creation of a satellite surveillance centre in Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to fight piracy, oil theft, smuggling, among others.
“The Maritime Watch Dog has keenly observed developments in the maritime sector of the economy over the years and is enthusiastic to record and proclaim that in contrast to the years of denial and decay, the Jonathan administration has recorded encouraging resuscitation in the aforementioned areas,” he said.
– The Nation