Though another set of 59 Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) trainees have graduated from the Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, there are indications that the statutory capacity building initiative of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), is yet to send new trainees in the last two years of the current administration,.
Rather, beneficiaries who had been sent before the coming of the new Director General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside are graduating in batches from different international institutions.
However, the return of 59 from UK 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 1st Class, while 36 of them had 2nd Class (Division 1) degrees and others graduated with various grades.
Speaking on this development, the Director General expressed delight at the performance of the students and stated that the graduands are the future of the Nigerian maritime industry, and 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, represented by the Agency’s Executive Director, 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 NSDP Cadets who had earlier graduated from the same University and thereafter obtained scholarships based on their performance from the University to pursue their Doctorate programme were also presented to the Nigerian delegation.
It may be recalled that as part of the commitment of the Executive Management of NIMASA to ensure that the NSDP programme is fully optimized, it has entered into partnership with various maritime institutions abroad to provide sea time training opportunities to the NSDP Cadets to enable them qualify fully as seafarers.
So far, about 2,000 Nigerian youths are beneficiaries of the NIMASA NSDP scheme. The programme was conceived in order to bridge the gap of the dearth of the seafaring profession in Nigeria, which is a global issue.