…Says There is an increasing Job Prospects for Seafarers in Nigeria
…As Captains Now Earn N10million Per Month
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Saturday flagged off the third phase of Nigerian Seafarers’ Development Programme (NSDP-TERRA) even as it has secured admission for 400 Nigerian cadets to be trained at two reputable maritime training institutions in Greece and India.
This bis even as indications have shown that a Captain of a small tanker vessel today can earn N10million Per month.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony which held at the Naval dockyard in Victoria Island, Lagos, Minister of Transportation, Eng Muazu Jaji Sambo commended NIMASA for the giant strides so far made in the area of human capital development of the maritime sector.
According to him, the collapse of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) created a gap in the manpower development of the shipping industry in Nigeria especially in the area of shipboard training and manning.
The NSDP initiative by NIMASA is however targeted at training globally competitive officers that will erase the unfortunate discrimination that has existed between local and foreign trained officers in the seafaring profession.
Speaking earlier in his welcome address, Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh assured that there is an increase in job prospects for seafarers in Nigeria.
According to him, the demand for seafarers in Nigeria has increased on account of the Cabotage regime which requires that vessel engaged in commercial trade and operations in the coastal and inland waters in Nigeria should be manned by Nigerians.
“The expanding opportunities provided by the Liquefied Natural Gas projects have also been a major boost for manpower demand of the sector. With prospects for the commencement of operations of the Brass LNG, the expansion of the NLNG trains and the Olokola Gas project, manpower demand for that sector has doubled the existing number.
“Another prospect is the growing off-shore oil exploration and production activities, which have increased the vessel requirements to meet demand in the sector.
“Other areas with significant prospects include the fishing sector, the manning of inland waterway crafts and coastal tankers.
“Overall, the prospects for the future of the Nigerian shipping industry remain very bright in spite of the manpower constraints. It is our hope that the NSDP scheme will in the long run increase the pool of Nigerian seafarers for export to other Countries” he said
Dr Jamoh stated that from inception to 2020, the NSDP programme has enrolled 2,041 students, while 892 are now licensed deck and engine officers including naval Architects, the rest are in their final stage of the programme.
He also disclosed that 486 of the graduates are now gainfully employed and sailing in both coastal and ocean going vessels.
Also speaking at the flag off ceremony, Managing Director of Sea Transport Group, a vessel owning company, Alhaji Aminu Umar urged the departing cadets to take their profession seriously, adding that a Captain of a small tanker today earn N10million Per month.
According to him, the shipowners are the sole beneficiaries of the NSDP Program because they employ most of the seafarers. It is an investment by the federal government that would yield profit, not only in Nigeria but whole of Africa.
“Today, most of our seafarers are expatriates, this is because we do not have Nigerians that meet the standard, that have gone to study at good schools that would end of being seafarers that can manage the ships
“For the students, I say to you that you are lucky, and you have to be steadfast and focused. This is a career that many people are looking forward to”
“When you go into Seafarers carrier, it is either you end up as a Chief engineer or as a Captain, I pay a lot of the salaries of these Captains and Chief Engineers, I can confidently tell you that I don’t think there is anybody here today that earn what a Captain or chief engineer earns in Nigeria today.
“For a Captain that captains a small tanker, his take home salary monthly is nothing less than N10million a month, I don’t see any profession that gives that kind of money” he said
Other stakeholders who took turns to address the cadets include; Barr Margaret Orakwusi, Eng Greg Ogbeifun, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju among others.