Fresh indications have emerged that more than 700 cadets trained in the Philippines by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) under its National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) are still stranded and lacking sea time training.
This is as even as NIMASA has revealed that it plans to give sea time training to 300 of the cadets in India at a cost of $28, 000 per cadet.
Director General of NIMASA represented by of Head Cabotage Services,Victor Egejuru stated this in Lagos yesterday Maritime Finance Fair held in Apapa Lagos.
Peterside confirmed the agency is having challenge with the NSDP programme especially for cadets trained in the Philippines
He said: “And arrangement are being made at present to make payments for more than 300 seafarers additional to what we already have before. So efforts are being made due to lack of vessels internationally, so it is an international problem not a localised problem. If it is for us to just put them on cabotage vessels we will spread all of them over the place.
“Because of the nature of sea time training they give to Nigerian cadets , then NIMASA said no we need them to be properly trained.
“So most of them have been moved to other institutions away from Philippines like Arab Academy Egypt, and UK and presently there are other universities coming on board especially those in India, there are three universities in India to also offer sea time training.
The D-G also said that “Seafaring provision of sea time training is very expensive and NIMASA has done a whole lot in this regard. Provision of seafarer training even for one seafarer is not less then $28,000.
“And so when people shout that nothing is being done they don’t know the pressure NIMASA is also facing”
“NIMASA took this decision not by force but the agency took up this programme of NSDP. A lot of Nigerians have now trained under this programme but for certain reasons we are having challenges with provision of sea time training especially those that were trained in Philippines”
“But we cannot spend so much money training people outside the shores of Nigeria just go get the best of international standard and when they come back you reduce them to national standard.
Already, he said three universities in India have indicated interest to offer sea time training for the 300 beneficiaries.