By Godfrey Bivbere
Chairman of Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, SOAN, Greg Ogbeifun, has called on the Federal Government to exploit the available human capacity in the maritime sector for its development.
Speaking to Vanguard Maritime Report in Lagos, the SOAN boss said the greatest problem faced by the sector is the neglect by the government in terms of employment and lack of consultation of the industry professionals in the formulation and implementation of policies by most of the government agencies in the sector.
According to him, “this industry is blessed with a large number of highly skilled, highly trained, highly qualified maritime and shipping personalities both serving and retired.
“If government can recognised this, then they should be able to form a think tank from that group whom they can sound out in political appointments and formation and implementation of policies for the sector.
“We are not saying that government should not make political appointments but the political appointees should not see themselves as experts in the field where they know little or nothing about and completely neglect the huge resources that are bound in these group of people.
“These group of professionals cross across the merchant navy and the Nigerian navy. The Nigerian navy is full of highly skilled, highly trained and highly qualified officers who are serving and retired.
“A ship is a ship whether is a merchant ship or is a combat ship, as a marine engineer I can work onboard any of them. Some of these people are wandering around the street but they have a lot to offer the country,” he noted.