A disagreement has erupted between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, SOAN and Cadets of the National Seafarers Development Programme, NSDP, over sea time training for Nigerian cadets.
Students undergoing training at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria While NIMASA and the Cadets insist that only sea time training on-board ocean going vessels are recognised at the global level, SOAN is of the view that their vessels should be used for the mandatory training requirement.
Speaking with Vanguard Maritime Report on the issue, Executive Director in charge of Finance and Administration at NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh, said the agency is not going to place graduate cadets of the National Seafarers Development Programme, NSDP, on ships in the Cabotage area. Jamoh, who disclosed this in a chat with Vanguard Maritime Report, explained that it is only cadets trained on-board ocean going vessels are recognised globally. He 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.
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.
He noted that there is no ocean going vessels owned by a Nigerian. One of the cadets who spoke with Vanguard Maritime Reports on the condition of anonymity, said part of the requirement is that a cadet must have sailed through one of the four existing oceans to be recognised. The cadet however complained that the NIMASA management had promised to send about 400 to 500 out of the 600 to 700 cadets trained in the Philippines for training by the end this month.
The cadet pointed out that there are moves amongst them for a protest at the National Assembly early next month. President of the SOAN, Greg Ogbeifun, lamented that the country do not have ocean going vessels to meet the requirements for modern cadet training, though he said that there are modern vessels trading in the Cabotage area in the country but that the NIMASA is refusing to allow the cadets train on-board these ships.