Shortage of ships affecting maritime sector, say seafarers

Shortage of ships affecting maritime sector, say seafarers

The dearth of ships in the country is affecting the maritime sector, seafarers have stated.

They stated this at the recent graduation of 87 students on free basic mandatory cadet training organised by the Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research in collaboration with the Alumni Association of the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology in Lagos.

The President of the Alumni Association of FCFMT, Captain William Ogunshakin, said the lack of ships for the training of cadets was one of the major challenges confronting the maritime sector.

“So, where will these people serve? This is the challenge we are having now. By the time we graduate these people and NIMASA is also training cadets. Many people train cadets, but we do not have ships. How do you train people to go into shipping but you do not have ships.”

Ogunshakin advised the government to float national carriers to ensure enough ships for the training of cadets.

“The Cabotage Vessels Financing Fund that they kept should be used to buy ships because before you know, something will happen to the money,” he remarked.

According to him, the government should make ships available for Nigerians, to enable cadets trained at home and abroad can be engaged.

“Some people are saying that Nigerians are not competent that was why they introduced Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme. But I can tell you that it is not true. It is our system that is not working properly.”

On the certificate, he said, “It is what we did to honour the alumni. So, it is a great opportunity for the participants because this is something that without it, you cannot go and fish, without this you cannot come on board.”

He added that though it was good to train cadets, the ones trained locally should be absorbed.

Also speaking, Captain Segun Akanbi said Nigeria had more cadets than the number of ships available.

“You look at the number of cadets NSDP and other maritime institutions in Nigeria are producing.

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