FG Reiterates Commitment to Strategic Maritime Capacity Development Programme

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Daniel Terungwa

The federal government through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has renewed its commitment to the nation’s maritime capacity development programme to bridge the skill gaps in the sector.

NIMASA’ third phase of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) has sent over 200 youths overseas for international maritime training.

Performing the flag-off for the NSDP programme in Lagos, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, charged the selected youth to be good ambassadors of the country as they depart the country.

 Ameachi, who also expressed his delight on the programme as part of the government’s effort to increase capacity development, urged NIMASA to consider some maritime training institutions in the country subsequently.

He said, ” As you proceed in your assignment as NIMASA, always remember that there are training institutions in the country.

“For you the young women and men that are graduating, congratulations, I pray you get jobs, because we are still battling with some that have graduated that have not gotten sea time and I hope you have been given sea time, and if not, I hope the DG NIMASA will arrange for sea time for those who have not gotten sea time.”

Speaking at the ceremony, the Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamol, stressed that the programme is part of the FG’s initiative to bridge the capacity gap in the maritime sector across the six geopolitical zones.

“Seafarers have the potential to add to our national economy. Today it becomes more important that the 200 youths standing before us today now bear the major burden on their shoulders.

“Government is making this huge investment in all ramifications for you in order to position our country for the blue economy. The training you will receive and the certification you will achieve will put you into the global shipping market place and enable you to ultimately contribute your prospective quota to the expansion and diversification of the national economy, ” he said.

Reacting to the Minister’s view on sea time training, the NIMASA DG, said it would be part of the programme, “so that there is no waiting time, students will learn for a period determined for the institution to embark on voyages ranging from three to six months and go back to school. This is against the standard in the past where cadets complete training and wait for allotment and call-up onboard; this is the kind of change that will be introduced in the NSDP’s third phase.”

Earlier, the Founder, Charkin Maritime Academy, Dr. Charles Wami, urged the regulatory agency to consider local Training centers in the programme.

“We have international training institutions in the country that can help the nation meet its target in the maritime sector. So, please in the future, consider these training centers in the country. For the private sector the programme would be successful if there is continuous collaboration between the agency and the various stakeholders in the sector in the areas of sea-time and certificate of competency (CoC), “he said.

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