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- Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi (second left), NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh (middle), and Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Victor Ochei (2nd right), with the cadets during the flag-off of the third phase of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP-3) in Lagos over the weekend
By Anthony Nwachukwu
The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has urged the 200 cadets beginning their sea-time training under the third phase of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP-3) to be of good behaviour and represent Nigeria well.
Amaechi, who flagged off the NSDP-3, being sponsored by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), commended the agency’s resilience in ensuring its success and expansion since commencement in 2009.
According to him, “the doggedness of NIMASA in ensuring the success of this programme is commendable, but I would like the agency to include more local training institutions that meet the standard required for the training.”
He told the cadets: “For those who are leaving, please, do not embarrass the country. You are not just ambassadors of NIMASA, you are ambassadors of Nigeria. You have to be of utmost good behaviour.
“You have to study and pass your exams. There are so many youths who want this opportunity that you have. It means that you must show NIMASA that they did not make any mistake in choosing you.”
He advised those who might not be hired overseas at the end of their sea-time training to return home and contribute to national development, saying that opportunities were gradually opening up for them in Nigeria.
“After training, some of you will be hired overseas. The ones that are not, please come back to the country. This country is changing in time. You will see the changes as you come. It won’t be easy, but the changes are coming gradually.”
Earlier, the NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said the third phase of NSDP, called NSDP Tera, had addressed many of the challenges encountered in the previous stages of the programme.
According to him, with this latest phase, the country is set for a better, more innovative maritime manpower development experience: “NSDP-3 brings our maritime manpower development strategy to the next level.
“It is a complete package which offers the cadets everything they need to qualify as seafarers – from shore-based training to sea-time training, and attainment of Certificate of Competency (CoC).”
Meanwhile, Jamoh disclosed that the NIMASA was working on bilateral agreements with some countries to facilitate greater recognition and acceptance of the country’s seafarers, as well as optimisation of the benefits of the programme.
“To prepare ourselves for the coming opportunities, the agency will make concerted efforts to sign bi-lateral agreements of mutual recognition of Certificate of Competency to open opportunities for Nigerian seafarers to work abroad.
“We are working with industry experts to ensure that our Maritime Education and Training (MET) meets international standards.”
Also, a former chief executive of the agency, Dr. Ade Dosunmu, who commended the pace of NSDP implementation, stressed that it has huge economic benefits in terms of foreign currency repatriation and employment creation, among others. He called for its sustenance and continued expansion.
Similarly, the Managing Director of Charkin Maritime Academy, Charles Wami, urged more partnership with indigenous maritime institutions on sea-time training.
He advised the cadets to be disciplined and assured them of success, stating that “on board a ship, cadets are not supposed to be heard but seen,” and as long as the sea does not dry, “there will be job for you as mariners. This profession is one that you can be proud of.”