The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has sent forth 235 Nigerians to Greece and India to be trained as Licensed Deck, Engine Officers, and Naval Architects under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), Business Day reported.
Muazu Jaji Sambo, the Minister of Transportation, who was the special guest of honour at the sent-forth ceremony christened NSDP phase 3, TERRA II over the weekend in Lagos, said the Federal government’s decision to continue with the project is based on the role it’s playing in developing capacity for the Nigerian maritime industry.
“The Federal Ministry of Transportation will continue to encourage and partner with NIMASA on NSDP and other policies on the development of a sustainable maritime-based economy,” he said.
He said the Ministry approved the expansion of the programme and another set of 435 new students will be recruited into the NSDP to develop manpower in line with the Federal Government’s policy on youth empowerment.
On his part, Bashir Jamoh, the director general of NIMASA, said the Agency is working with countries that are committed to an understanding for mutual recognition of Certificate of Competency (CoC).
While acknowledging some of the teething challenges experienced by the NSDP scholarship scheme in the earlier phases, the NIMASA DG said that all grey areas have been addressed to ensure a better deal for both beneficiaries and the Nigerian government.
“The recruitment process is spread across the six geo-political zones, and we introduced a code of conduct for the beneficiaries. We also engaged Maritime Training Institutions that offer shore-based training, shipboard training and Certificate of Competency licensing to eliminate the long delay in securing sea time training experienced with the previous students," he explained.
"NIMASA comparatively got the most reasonable cost for the training and in countries with mutual recognition of CoC with Nigeria,” he explained.
In 2008, NIMASA initiated the NSDP with the sole mandate of training Nigerian youths to become seafarers and Naval Architects in order to fulfil one of its core mandates, which is Maritime Capacity Building.
At that time, the number of Nigerian seafarers on ocean-going vessels was poor, resulting in an urgent need to boost capacity for effective implementation of the coastal and inland shipping policy.
The programme was designed to train Nigerian youths up to Degree levels 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.
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