Nigerian youths in the maritime sector are in line to earn in dollars, as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has made provisions for the beneficiaries of the Nigerian Seafarers’ Development Programme (NSDP) to obtain their Certificate of Competency (CoC) by undergoing requisite sea time training to qualify them for global shipping and earn in foreign exchange.
The Director General of the Agency Dr. Dakuku Peterside made this known in Port Harcourt during the zonal tour of the Agency’s Eastern zonal office by the NIMASA Governing Board. He disclosed that the Agency had made provisions for the mandatory Sea time for these NSDP graduates in its 2017 budget proposals, as such will be qualifying hundreds of the candidates for the international labour market soon.
Dr Peterside restated the Agency’s commitment towards building capacity for the maritime sector thereby ensuring that Seafarers and Dockworkers get the best of training across the globe. He stressed that NIMASA is in the process of fortifying the NSDP programme in order for Nigeria to begin to export Seafarers and earn the much needed foreign exchange. He added that the challenge had always been the mandatory sea time training which the Agency is tackling headlong.
In his words “we have made adequate provision for sea time training in our 2017 budget proposal. About 2500 graduates of the NSDP programme will be assisted to get trained on Sea going Vessels for their mandatory sea time and we have concluded arrangements for the first batch to be sponsored in order to expand their chances of job placement on board ocean going vessels. With this, our youths will obtain the Certificate of Competency (CoC) which places an opportunity to earn in dollars along with their contemporaries internationally”.
Dr. Peterside further said that the Agency is about to begin the process of training about 800 Dockworkers, adding that these workers are the helping hands in the Port and needed specialized trainings which has not been done in recent past.
The NIMASA DG noted that these capacity building initiatives is geared towards ensuring that in the nearest future the country would be able to export seafarers and have more Nigerians on Ocean going vessels. He said countries like India and The Philippines enhance their GDP from the activities of the human elements of the maritime sector and that Nigeria should be able to tap into this opportunity for economic advancement.
It would be recalled that NIMASA initiated the NSDP programme in 2009 to curb the dearth of trained and certified seafarers which is a global challenge recognized by the International Maritime Organization, IMO. The training is in conformity with the Standards of Training and Watch-Keeping (STCW) otherwise called Manila Convention.
The beneficiaries of the scheme graduated from reputable maritime institutions globally. They studied various courses such as; Marine Engineering, Nautical Science and Naval Architecture amongst other maritime related courses.