June 6, 2022

‘Why FG must take advantage of global seafarers’ shortfall’

'Why FG must take advantage of global seafarers' shortfall'

By Godfrey Bivbere & Mercy Okpara

The Federal Government has been urged to work towards taking advantage of the 136,500 global seafarers’ vacancies facing the international shipping community.

Giving the charge in Lagos, former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Timi Omatseye, said there are 120,000 cadets and 16,500 officers’ vacancies at the globally level for seafarers.

Speaking at the 6th AMSAY Conference organised by Platform Communication, Omatseye, a former NIMASA boss explained that older seafarers are retiring and younger ones are not replacing them. He said that Nigerian seafarers, however, have advantages because they speak English which is the main language used at the global level.

According to him, “Right now there is a shortage of 16,500 officers as given by the International Chamber of Shipping, ICS, and at the back of that; we also have a shortage of younger officers, the cadets which is about 120,000 globally. It is building up because people are leaving the system, people are actually retiring.

“We need to put people back to sea very quickly and Nigeria has the opportunity. Philippines get almost $25 billion a year from diaspora remittance from seafarers.

“What we have as Nigerians is our human capacity; we have the young capacity to train our seafarers and push them to sea; it is not that difficult because Maritime academy will not charge more than 1,500 dollars to do this kind of course,” he said.