2,259 Nigerian students undergoing seafarers training abroad – Peterside

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Dr Dakuku Peterside, the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said on Friday that 2,259 students were in various universities abroad.

He said many of them were participants in the agency’s National Seafarers’ Development Programme (NSDP)..

Peterside disclosed this said this in Lagos at a forum on “A Day with Nigerian Maritime Students’’, organised by Platforms Communications.

Peterside was representedat the event by the Director, Maritime Labour Services, Mrs Juliana Gunwa,

According to him, out of 2,259 students, 503 have graduated from the universities in Egypt, UK and the Philipines, respectively.

“Presently, 96 graduates are ready for the labour market, while 407 have concluded their academic works and awaiting the compulsory one-year sea time training, ‘’ the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes the director-general as saying.

He said that the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) was established in 2008 with the aim of bridging the gap observed in the dearth of seafarers arising from the liquidation of Nigerian National Shipping Lime (NNSL).

Peterside said that the programme was designed to train Nigerian youths up to degree level in marine engineering and nautical architecture in some of the best maritime institutions abroad.

To meet human capacity requirements of the maritime industry, he said that the agency collaborated with some universities across the six geo-political zones of the country to establish maritime institutes.

Peterside said that the institutes would cater for the training of students in maritime courses in line with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) standards.

“This initiative has resulted in setting up institutes of Maritime Studies in University of Lagos, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Ibrahim Babangida University and Niger Delta University

“NIMASA has over the years, in its efforts to increase human capacity base, has continued to meet the payment of the statutory five per cent of the three per cent levy on international cargo to Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, Akwa Ibom.

“This payment is to facilitate the upgrade and maintenance of infrastructure facilities and general administration in the institution,’’ NAN quotes the director-general as saying.

Peterside said that NIMASA was equally involved in the quarterly training and retrain of staff bothering on the areas of needs.

According to him, the human capacity drive of the agency also extends to the training of dock workers.

A former Sole Administrator, MAN, Oron, Mr Olu Akinsoji, said that the youths must key into the requirements for successful training in the specialised area of global ship board responsibilities.

He said that training of seafarers must be planned, structured and guided strictly in accordance with the provisions of the International Convention on the Standard of Training and Certification of Seafarers, 1978 as amended and other relevant instruments of IMO.

Akinsoji suggested that the establishment of a National Seafarers Training Committee (NSTSC) was crucial to the success of the seafarers training system.

The mariner ship owners operating regular trade in Nigerian waters should embark on placement of cadets on their ships.

He said that the NSTSC should have the terms of reference and review seafarers training.

Mr Sylvanus Obasi, the Chief Executive Officer, Platforms Communications, said the forum was designed to provide a suitable avenue for Nigerian maritime youths and students to converge, interact and network with themselves.

Obasi said that the forum had availed students and youths of the opportunity to meet and learn from seasoned practitioners in the sector, adding that it would also provide a platform for information sharing and cross-fertilisation of ideas.

“The forum will enable government, private companies and industry players to understand the challenges these students face with a view to guiding and helping them overcome them,’’ he said.

Obasi said that the Forum would also acquaint the students and youths with the tenets of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war as evidenced in the maritime industry.

“This is to rekindle hope, build trust and integrity as envisaged in the industry. Above all, expose the students and youths to the enormous potential in the sector and to tap from it.’’ He said.

Mr Greg Ogbeifun, the Chief Executive Officer of Starz Group, who was chairman of the occasion, urged NIMASA to get all the data on the trained cadets so that stakeholders who would be willing to engage them could contact them easily.

Ogbeifun advised NIMASA to collaborate with serving and retired marine operators in order to train the youths and guarantee them bright future.

He urged the students not to relent and keep on making efforts to be engaged in sea time training.

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