Seafarers Fault Overseas Training For Cadets

Seafarers Fault Overseas Training For Cadets

Seafarers under the auspices of the Maritime Professional Forum have criticised the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme, through which the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency trains cadets abroad.

The President of MARPRO, Segun Akanbi, told The PUNCH on Tuesday that taking youths outside the country to obtain the same certificate NIMASA can issue showed that the agency was not accepting its certificate.

“There are so many questions yet unanswered. NIMASA is issuing unlimited Officer in Charge of Navigational Watch Reg II/1 and Officer in Charge Engineering Watch Reg III/1, which are the same license obtained after the NSDP programme.

“Going outside the country to obtain those licenses for NSDP is like blocking your nose to the aroma of what you are cooking. You are indirectly telling the world that the license you are issuing is unacceptable to you,” he said.

NIMASA in 2008 initiated the NSDP with the sole mandate of training Nigerian youths to become seafarers and naval architects in fulfilling one of its cores in the area of maritime capacity building.

The programme was designed to train Nigerian youths up to degree level in Marine Engineering, Nautical Sciences and Naval Architecture in some of the best Maritime Training Institutions abroad and to position them to compete effectively in the global Maritime Industry as a means of developing the Nigerian maritime space.

Akanbi, who is also a ship captain, explained that despite the huge investment in the programme in the past years, it had failed to achieve the needed results.

“The NSDP idea was of good intentions when it was initiated in 2008. The idea was basically about building capacity that meets global standards. It is 15 years already, and so many funds have been invested in the programme. But with all sincerity, the outcome of this huge investment is not yielding as much value as expected. It is rather creating further bottlenecks for self-sponsored cadets within the country,” he noted.

Akanbi called for an immediate review of the program.

Also, a member of the association, who does not want his name in print, said that the NSDP programme was a good move, though it had created some problems.

He said that the programme should accommodate others aside from cadets.

“The programme is a very fantastic one. The people who created it meant well for Nigerian seafarers. The only thing I feel that is missing is that the programme should have been directed in a way that would favour all cadres of seafarers. It should be evenly distributed and not focus on freshers alone.

“If you look at the Nigerian maritime industry today, we do not lack cadets. What we are lacking are officers, captains, and chief engineers. We have enough cadets. Supposing that the people that initiated the programme at that time in 2008 realised that, probably it should have been re-defined, or reprogrammed to favour not only the freshers,” he mentioned.

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