(TRADE NEWSWIRE): The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, has commenced the first phase of fully-sponsored on-board sea-time training for 239 cadets in Egypt and United Kingdom, TRADE NEWSWIRE reports.
The Director-General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, disclosed this during a flag-off ceremony held in Lagos for 150 Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) Cadets who are bound for Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Marine Transportation in Alexandria, Egypt for the commencement of their on-board training in the first phase of the fully sponsored batch.
The NSDP Cadets departing for Egypt for the training consist of seventy seven (77) Deck and seventy three (73) Engine cadets.
However, eighty nine cadets would also within the first phase be proceeding to the South Tyneside College (STC), UK for their on-board sea-time training to make it a total of two hundred and thirty nine cadets in the first phase.
In a statement obtained by TRADE NEWSWIRE from the Head of Corporate Communications, NIMASA, Isichei Osamgbi, the NSDP was conceived in 2008 as a deliberate policy to ameliorate the dearth in certified and qualified seafarers and the depletion of seafarers in the nation’s pool due to age and migration of seafarers out of the country
The Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP): is a programme created by NIMASA in 2009 aimed at bridging the employment deficit in the nation’s seafaring. Countries of study for the NSDP are Romania, the Philippines, United Kingdom, United States of America, India, and Egypt among others.
The funding pattern for the programme is 60:40 ratio where the state governments of the beneficiary students provide 60 per cent of the tuition fees while NIMASA provide 40 per cent along with other miscellaneous expenses e.g monthly allowances, air tickets and other sundry expenses.
Peterside said, “ Presently, the programme has over 243 Graduates and 1600 cadets at various stages of completion of the programme out of which 887 are ready for sea-time training. Sea-time training is a critical aspect of the training of seafarers as it entails practical on board training on sea going vessels, with cadets spending a minimum of nine to twelve months on board ocean going vessels.
“As some of you may already know, berth spaces are not easy to come by, therefore one of the biggest challenges we had was sourcing for berth spaces for the cadets, coupled with the desire of this administration to follow due process in all our dealings. We are pleased that we did not fall into the temptation of taking short cuts at any time, we have therefore engaged various Maritime Training Institutions to provide this essential service.
“I am delighted to announce to you that the Agency painstakingly chose the Maritime Training Institutions strategically to position Nigeria in bilateral relationships to boost the acceptability of Nigerian Certificate of Competence (CoC) or tickets in other climes with long term goal of providing more jobs for Nigerian seafarers on board vessels from other nationalities.
“The process and effort put in by the Agency to arrive at this auspicious occasion has been enormous, but it is a social responsibility the Agency has shouldered and we are sure that the Maritime sub-sector of Nigeria will be better for it as the fruit of the reward will be in multiples.”
NIMASA DG thanked the Vice President, African and Asian Affair, Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Professor Balbaa Alsnosy and his team, on behalf of the Agency’s Executive Management for their commitment to the NSDP project.
He also congratulated the cadets who are on the first list for On-Board Training and reiterated that the whole country was depending on them, added that they were expected to be good ambassadors of Nigeria in Egypt, as nothing short of the best was expected from them.
Peterside said, “I thank the Ambassador and members of staff of the embassy of Egypt in Nigeria for their continuous support and encouragement and I specially thank the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr. Gambo Ahmed, members of Staff of the Maritime Labour Services/ NSDP Unit, the entire Management and staff of the Agency for working assiduously for the success of the programme and this occasion.
“Finally, let me profusely thank the Honourable Minister of Transportation Rt. Honourable Rotimi Amaechi, who has been up and doing about growing the maritime sector in this country and to say to him to count NIMASA as number one supporter and one Agency that will go ahead to support you to turn around the fortunes of the maritime sector in Nigeria.”