By Godwin ORITSE
THE Senate Committee on Marine Transport may have began a probe into the selection process of successful beneficiaries of the National Seafarers Development Project of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The probe was occasioned by the recent selection of over 1,000 young Nigerians majority of whom were from the Ijaw extraction who made up more than 70% of the beneficiaries fully sponsored to the Philippines for training in the seafaring profession.
The NIMASA’s Director General Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi was queered over the selection process which the Committee said was skewed in favour of the candidates from Bayelsa, Delta and River states.
Speaking at the budget defence of NIMASA, Committee’s chairmanperson Senator Zainab Kure directed the NUMASA boss to furnish the Committee with names of beneficiaries and their states of origin.
Mrs Kure stated the priority of the NSDP project should be on sea time training adding that it was of no use getting trained on such a technical course with having a practical experience of what has been learnt.
It was gathered even th examination process was also skewed in favour of the Ijaw people as four examination centers were allocated to them while only one was allocated to the entire Northern states, South Western states and South Eastern states.
Vanguard also gathered that the Senate Committee has concluded plans to ensure that further admission processes are are tracked with a view to ensuring that every geo-political zone is fully captured and represented.
A situation where the resources of the nation is spent to build capacity in certain people because there are privilege to have come from a particular area is unacceptable.
TheNational Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) initiated by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) may have lost its essence of building capacity in the seafarering profession whose vacancy will hit about 250,000 by the year 2015.
The programme which was initiated by the Dr Ade Dosunmu was a well thought out to benefit the ordinary Nigerians from the six geo-political zones across the country.
When the programme started in 2008, it started with a vision to training at least 5,000 Nigerian seafarers by the year 2015 and increasing this figure to 50,000 by the year 2025
The programme was to be funded by both NIAMASA 40% and participating states with 60% funding, a development that saw some states foot dragging thereby resulting in the low turn out candidates from the e participating states.