The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has secured sea time berths for cadets trained under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).
Director-general of the agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this in Lagos following a recent three-month extension granted the 400 Nigerian seafarers undertaking sea time in different parts of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three-month programme leading to the award of certificate of competency to beneficiaries was extended for another three months by NIMASA, in the first instance, to enable the seafarers complete their training amid the global lockdowns caused by the pandemic.
Jamoh stated that despite the outbreak of COVID-19, the agency had intensified efforts to secure sea time opportunities for a good number of the trained cadets across the globe.
He stated: “In the first quarter of 2020 alone we secured sea time berths for over 550 cadets in various countries for the three months programme leading to the issuance of CoCs.
However, due to the pandemic, we extended their sponsorship for another three months, which comes with additional cost, and we are still looking to extend it further as we continue to monitor the pandemic and how it affects the programme.”
The NSDP was initiated by NIMASA in 2008 to deal with the dearth of trained and certified seafarers in Nigeria. So far, the programme has graduated over 2,000 cadets and many of them have undergone sea time and are currently in the employ of various international shipping lines.