Director General of the agency, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, who spoke at the official send forth organised in honour of 655 cadet trainees billed to travel abroad under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), said that the programme is a demonstration of its clear understanding that investments in the development of maritime human capacity, is our surest path to Nigerian maritime sector growth.
NIMASA had last year sent a total of 1000 cadet-trainees to undertake courses in Marine Engineering, Nautical Sciences and Naval Architecture, among others in foreign institutions in India, Malaysia, Egypt and Philippines among several others as part of measure to develop indigenous seafarers’ pool for export.
The NSDP is a strategic intervention programme launched in 2010 under which the agency projects to train not fewer than 1,480 seafarers by 2014, designed to address the manpower requirements in the maritime industry in Nigeria and also contribute significantly to the global pool of the seafarers.
Under the main programme, the various states of the federal of Nigeria and Abuja are expected to fund 40 percent of a minimum of 40 trainees of indigenes of the states while NIMASA undertakes 60 percent of each of the trainees, while in the second window, NIMASA undertakes full sponsorship of the trainees
According to him, in the estimation of the agency, the NSDP guarantees that in the nearest future, Nigeria will be Africa’s hub for the supply of skilled maritime human capital, which will justify the resources and support received from the Federal Government towards ensuring the success of the programme.
“The pragmatic expectation of the Nigerian maritime industry is that the NSDP holds the future for the development of future Nautical Scientists, Naval Architects and Marine Engineers who will close capacity gaps in Nigeria’s ship building value chain, ship manning and contemporary elements of ships’ operation and navigation”, he said.
The DG also said: “We will like to put on record that the Nigerian oil and gas sector is also in a desperate waiting game to enjoy the fruits of the NSDP. As the oil and gas sector gravitates towards the maximisation of the Nigerian content in the fabrication of oil and gas platforms and sundry marine engineering activities, we assure that products of the NSDP will provide requisite skill for present and future companies in this regard”.