The federal government is committed to ensuring that Nigerian cadets undergo adequate sea time training to enable them become gainfully employed in the nation’s shipping sector.
Speaking in Lagos at the weekend during the 2021 World Maritime Day (WMD) celebration, organised by the federal ministry of transportation, with the theme, ‘Seafarers: At the Core of Shipping’s Future’, the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), would be strengthened to engage with reputable shipping companies for the benefit of Nigerian seamen.
According to him, the NSDP programme sponsored by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has over 7,000 seafarers on the Nigerian seafarers register, and more attention would be given to seafarers’ specialised training to enable them perform expert tasks in their various fields of engagement on board vessels.
“Seafaring has evolved over the years from apprenticeship to specialised and rigorous nautical education, necessitated by digitalisation and the development of modern, technologically advanced vessels. The world is in short supply of qualified seafarers today and the rapid rise in digital technology and automation mean that one of the world’s oldest professions is set to change more in the next couple of years,” he said.
Also speaking, the director general of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, said the agency would continue to pay priority attention to the capacity development and employment of Nigerian seafarers.
Also, the acting managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko, has affirmed the commitment and determination of management in improving the welfare of seafarers in the sub-sector towards providing improved and efficient services for the growth of the country.
Bello-Koko, who noted that the positive roles and contributions of seafarers to the growth of global trade cannot be ignored, saluted the doggedness of seafarers in providing succour in the movement and transfer of goods and services globally to various climes in the face of various challenges ranging from unfavourable weather conditions, to attacks from pirates at sea.
He added that seafarers are major role players in sea transportation, pointing out that they are global treasures and assets in world maritime trade.