Deputy Director, Maritime Labour Services of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA and coordinator of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme NSDP, Mr. Victor Egejuru in a photograph with some of the graduating cadets during the graduation ceremony held recently at the Liverpool John Moore University, United Kingdom.

Four out of a total of 59 graduating Nigerian cadets from the Liverpool John Moore University, United Kingdom under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme NSDP, an initiative of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, have bagged first class degrees, thus further boosting the capacity building programme.

This brings it to a total number of 1,343 graduates of the scheme since its inception from the various institutions in United Kingdom, Egypt, Romania and Philippines.

At the graduation ceremony which held in the United Kingdom recently, four of the students graduated with a first class, while 36 of them had second class (Division 1) degrees even as others graduated with various grades.

Director General of the agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who spoke on the development, expressed delight at the performance of the students and stated that the cadet graduates are the future of the Nigerian maritime industry. He therefore assured them that plans are on top gear to ensure they do their mandatory sea time training so that they can be qualified seafarers.

The DG who was represented by the Executive Director in charge of Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr. Ahmed Gambo enjoined the students to continue to be good ambassadors of Nigeria and told them that very soon they will be expected back home to take over the Nigerian maritime space.

“Let me congratulate you on this great feat of your graduation from this prestigious University. On our part as a government, we are committed to capacity building initiatives as it remains the only means the maritime industry can survive and compete favourably with its counterparts globally; we will ensure you all go through the mandatory sea time training, so that you can become better experts and professionals in the maritime sector both in Nigeria and internationally”, Dr. Peterside said.

Meanwhile, two outstanding cadets of the NSDP who had earlier graduated from the same university and thereafter obtained scholarships based on their performance from the university to pursue their doctorate programmes were also presented to the Nigerian delegation.

Recall that as part of the commitment of the executive management of the agency to ensure that the NSDP programme is fully optimised, it entered into partnership with various maritime institutions abroad to provide sea time training opportunities to the NSDP cadets to enable them obtain their Certificate of Competency CoC, as prescribed by the International Maritime Organisation IMO, without which they cannot be employed on board ocean going vessels.

Available records show that over 2,000 Nigerian youths have so far benefited the NSDP scheme of NIMASA, which was initiated as part of efforts to bridge the manpower gap in the global maritime industry and also help in building the required human capacity to grow Nigeria’s maritime industry.