The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has begun talks with the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, to explore avenues of partnership to train 2,000 youths from the Niger Delta in seafaring profession under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme, NSDP, initiated and flagged-off recently by NIMASA .
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to NDDC Managing Director, Mr Abraham Ogbodo, the cost of the three-year training programme is put at $20,000 annually per trainee, which adds up to a total of N2 billion each year for all 2000 trainees.
Although details of the partnership will be worked out by a joint technical committee of the two federal agencies, the NDDC is expected to provide 60 per cent of the funding and NIMASA ,40 per cent.
Managing Director of the NDDC, Chibuzor Ugwoha and Director-General of NIMASA, Temisan Omatseye, met at the weekend in Abuja to agree on the broad outlines of the partnership, pending when the details will be made available by the joint technical committee. Mr Ugwoha described the proposed training of 2000 Niger Delta youths in seafaring as â€œfulfilling and in consonance with the NDDCâ€™s new approach of balancing provision of infrastructure with human capital development and capacity building in the Niger Delta.â€
He added that the new proposal had further widened the basket of empowerment programmes created by the NDDC to engage the teeming youths of the region in meaningful economic activities.
Participants who will be screened and selected through an objective and transparent process will be trained in different training centres in Africa, Asia, Europe and America in nautical engineering, naval architecture, marine communication, ship building and repairs, among other skills.