By Godfrey Bivbere
Nigeria Ship owners Association, NISA, has accused the Federal Government of encouraging piracy through the neglect of the nation’s seafarers’ cadets who are left helpless after their training.
Chairman of NISA, Capt. Niyi Labinjo, in a chat with Vanguard, said that in the last 10 years graduates of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, Oron, Akwa Ibom State and other institutions in the country, had been left to roam the streets without the opportunity to complete the practical aspect of their training.
Labinjo noted that the practical training onboard ships was a prerequisite for completion of their training.
He said that out of frustration, the young cadets were lured to team up with dubious characters who take advantage of their seafaring skills to join piracy and sea robbery.
According to him, “Cadets of MAN, Oron, who graduated six to 15 years ago have no jobs. So what do you want to do with the new people you are training? You are going to make them hijackers, sea pirates. That is why the issue of sea piracy cases is very high because the boys we trained have no jobs.
“Those who graduated many years back have no jobs because they have no place to do the industrial training, and therefore, cannot continue. Look at all those Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA had trained under its National Seafarers Development Programm, NSDP. They have returned and have nowhere to do their sea time. They are walking the streets.”