By DAPO OLAWUNI
Cordinator of the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) a pet project of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Mrs Irene Mcfoy has said that more than 2,000 cadets trained by the agency got their seatime experience.
Mcfoy who retired as an Assistant Director of NIMASA in 2021, also said that female seafarers molestation onboard ships is reduced drastically, even to an insignificant ratio.
According to her, any of the NSDP beneficiaries who chose to drop out of the profession is by his or her choice, and not for lack of being properly trained and empowered.
Among the 2,000 trained NSDP seafarers, she said that 400 of them were women.
While responding to questions at a press conference organised by Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria in Lagos on Wednesday, Mrs Mcfoy said “I just retired from NIMASA as an Assistant Director in 2021, I was in charge of the programme called the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) I was there for seven years and we trained over 2,000 students”
“Among the 2,000 students, we have up to 400 ladies.
So, I was a bit surprised when I heard they are having problems with sea time experience”
“I am very much aware and I can speak authoritatively that the female cadets have been given opportunity of seatime training, so whoever decided to drop off, there might be more to it, but it is not that they were deprived of Sea time training”
“Every cadet, male or female, trained by NIMASA were provided sea time training.
It was irrelevant whether you are male or female, so long you are in that programme, you have opportunity for seatime training”
“Issue of female molestation onboard vessel is very insignificant.
No captain of a vessel would tolerate a female seafarer being molested because they would be blacklisted and lose their license”
“There is a lot of talk, but the evidence is minimal and almost insignificant”
“Before a female is taken onboard for sea time training or for a job as a seafarers, there must have been a separate bathroom and cabin” she said