L-R Mr. Emeka Akabogu, Maritime Lawyer ,Isichei Osamgbi, Head Corporate Communications, NIMASA, at the Maritime Students Conference held in Lagos recently


The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, has assured that the agency is more than ever committed ensuring that all cadet-beneficiaries of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme NSDP conclude their programme by getting sea time training.

This is in line with the International Maritime Organisation IMO, under the Safety and Watchkeeping Convention, which insists that cadets must undergo a 12-month training on board an ocean going vessels, which is a pre-requisite for the issuance of Certificate of Competition COC, without which the cadets cannot secure jobs on international vessels.

The NSDP is a capacity development interventionist scheme aimed at training sufficient manpower both for the local industry and also cushions the shortage of seafarers in the global market.

Director General of the agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who spoke at the second edition of the Maritime Students conference which took place in Lagos, insisted that the agency was committed to ensuring that all beneficiaries of the NSDP conclude their programme by getting sea time training. He noted that discussions were in advanced stage with some reputable maritime institutions across the world to facilitate sea time training for the graduates from the programme.

Peterside, who was represented by the agency’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi, disclosed that the NIMASA’s budget for 2017 gave priority to capacity development, particularly acquisition of sea-time by graduates of the NSDP.

“Arrangements to ensure that all graduates from the NSDP project acquire sea-time training has reached advanced stage. NIMASA is in the process of firming up all arrangements with select maritime institutions with capacity to directly facilitate sea-time training for our graduates. This direct approach is more effective and cost saving. Once the budget for 2017 is signed into law, the process will become faster”, he said.

Meanwhile, a former Director General of the agency, Mr. Temisan Omatseye, while speaking at the event, noted that the Nigerian Seafarers Development programme has been improved upon by all the managements of the agency since it was first introduced in 2007.

While urging youths to seek a career at sea, Mr. Omatseye described the maritime industry as capable of providing the much talked about jobs for the teeming youths.

Maritime Lawyer, Emeka Akabogu, who spoke at the event advised young Nigerians to take interest in maritime related courses to give them an added advantage to have a successful career in the sector.

Records show that a total of 1,045 beneficiaries of the NSDP project have graduated representing 42 per cent graduates of the over 2500 NIMASA sponsored beneficiaries.

Stakeholders have been divided over whether the country should acquire training vessels while others believe that shipping companies should be engaged to put the cadets on board their ocean going vessels.