Lagos — The NLNG Shipping Management Limited, NSML, the shipping arm of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company, has hinted of an impending shortage of qualified and competent marine officers globally.
Speaking at the just-concluded Annual Conference of the Shipping Correspondents Association of Nigeria, SCAN, Managing Director NSML, Mr. Abdulkadir Ahmed, said that there is a global shortage of skilled officers in the maritime industry adding that industry sources point to increasing demand for qualified seafarers, particularly the officers, and this situation is expected to persist into the future.
Ahmed also stated that the increased digitalization and automation of the shipping industry will require different and more technically advanced knowledge and expertise than what is currently obtained.
These technological developments according to him, will radically change the employment patterns -in the maritime industry- in the coming years; and similarly, the required skillsets, and training needs required in the immediate, near term and long term will be significantly different from the skills currently available today.
He said: “The paucity of qualified and competent officers globally. There is a global shortage of skilled officers in the maritime industry. Industry sources point to increasing demand for qualified seafarers, particularly the officers, and this situation is expected to persist into the future. The diminishing attractiveness of a career at sea, coupled with rising man-berth ratios and continued fleet growth is likely to result in the highest shortfall of officers in the coming years.
“The global maritime industry continues to be shaped by stringent environmental regulations and requirements. Lately, the focus of maritime regulators has shifted firmly to Green House Gas
“The landscape of the maritime industry is shifting with the rising trends in technology. Industry sources posit that the trends are emerging out of necessity. Advances in shipbuilding, propulsion, smart shipping, advanced materials, big data and analytics, robotics, sensors, Artificial Intelligence, and communications are all impacting the maritime industry.
“Future Maritime Skillsets, Training and Competency.
The technological developments, advancements and innovations in the maritime industry have started reshaping the industry much faster than envisioned. The forecast growth and rapid technological developments in maritime transportation will create the need for a newly skilled, competent, and motivated workforce.”
The NSML boss also noted that the role of the media in ensuring that the right information is disseminated to a wider audience is vitally important and cannot be overemphasized. You are the “third eye” that keeps watching over the activities and developments in the industry adding it is essential that the media is fully conversant with the trends and developments in the global and local shipping/maritime sectors and report such accordingly.
“The media is also a critical stakeholder in the maritime industry, and it, therefore, behoove you to ensure that the right, factual and appropriate information is always available.
In addition to your information gathering and dissemination role, you equally have a duty of driving accountability by ensuring that the industry operates in line with international standards for safe, reliable, and efficient operations thereby supporting the drive towards the development of safe and competitive shipping industry. It is therefore incumbent on you to upscale your knowledge, of not only the human & operational elements of the industry but also the technical elements pertaining to the vessels and terminals.” He stated
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