Former Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Temisan Omatseye, has said that Nigeria is losing about 300 million dollars yearly for berthing Five Degrees East on Nigerian waters.
Omatseye said this at the 3rd Annual Conference tagged: “A Day with Nigeria Maritime Students 2018” organised by Platforms Communications in Lagos. He urged the Federal Government to look into the issue to enable Nigerian ports to be cheaper and attractive for port users.
According to him, the foreign ship owners have taken over all the maritime businesses, while the local ship-owners are left with next to nothing.
“Nigerian shippers should be allowed to take charge of their goods as soon as they arrive the country because this is what is applicable all over the world. But foreign ship owners will not allow Nigerians to get near vessels as soon as they arrive the country, in spite of being the landlord of the ports.
“We want government to assist Nigerian ship owners to be in-charge because by so doing, they will create more employment for teaming youths. Nigeria will soon be competing with its foreign counterparts with the recent equipment government has provided for the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which is presently having multiplier effect on their operations,” Omatseye said.
He commended NIMASA for the establishment of the National Seafarer Development Programme (NSDP), which had assisted in the training of some Nigerian youths to the level of Sea time training. Omatseye, however, advised youths that were yet to obtain acquire sea time training not to relent, adding that Nigeria need their services because most of the seafarers were ageing and there was the need for replacement.
Also speaking, the President, Africa Women in Maritime (WIMA), Mrs. Jean Chiazor-Anishere, urged the Federal Government to collaborate with private organisations to obtain data of cadets with distinctions.
She said that if experienced cadets were employed, it would have positive effect on operations of the maritime industry as well as encourage the other students to work hard.