By Godfrey Bivbere & Mildred Iboma

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, is not going to place graduate cadets of the National Seafarers Development Programme, NSDP, on ships in the Cabotage area.

Bashir Jamoh, the Executive Director at NIMASA, who disclosed this said this is because only cadets trained onboard ocean going vessels are recognised globally.

Speaking exclusively with  Vanguard Maritime Report  in Lagos, Jamoh stressed the need to develop local capacity to acquire ocean going vessels to enable local training of NSDP cadets.

He stated: “Those ones (vessels) are not internationally recognized, so even if we have it, by the time they go abroad to look for employment, when their Certificate of Competence, CoC, are checked they will have problems.

“International ship owners may not be able to recognize them. The number of people are too much for our consumption so we are targeting most of them for the international market, maybe the international ship owners will be able to absorb them just like the way Philippines, Indonesians and those developed nations are exporting labour to other countries, just like Philippines whose major economic gains comes from seafarers’ export.

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He noted that there are no ocean going vessels owned by a Nigerian. “I do not know about now, maybe yesterday or today somebody acquired one but to the best of my knowledge no Nigerian has it. We may have it maybe through third party chartering but not 100 per cent ownership”.

He also pointed out that in getting the NSDP cadets trained onboard internationally recognized ships, the cost is enormous, that is why whatever we do, we have to negotiate.

According to him, “We go to institutions and we study where the problem lies. The number of students that are going now are not less than 200 and we have about three institutions that we are sending them to; including Arab Academy in Egypt and some in India and the United Kingdom”.

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