Stakeholders in the maritime industry have faulted the approach of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) by junketing around the country looking for countries to train its cadets in the absence of a Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL).
According to the Special Adviser on Seafarers Affairs to the President-General of the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Henry Odey, Nigeria is running from country to country seeking assistance with sea-time training.
He said, “How would you think that the other countries would like to train your cadets for you to compete with them?
“It is shame on our country because, we are doing nothing. Do you think you can go to Philippines and ask them to train your cadets so that you can compete with them?
I worked onboard the British ship, Dempsa, and if you were not a good sailor, nobody would employ you. But today, nobody wants to care.”
NIMASA has also come under serious flak for placing more emphasis on revenue generation at the detriment of thedevelopment of shipping in the country.
According to Mr. Bolaji Akinola, it is sad that NIMASA has lost focus on shipping development.
Akinola regretted that NIMASA was now a money-making agency, as its 3% freight levy on ships has made it a big attraction for political appointments,
adding that while Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, CVFF grows in idle billions of naira in anescrow account, while the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN Oron continues to churn out ill-trained and ill-qualified cadets.
According to him, no fewer than 6,000 of those cadets are today stuck with their National Diploma programme because they could not get the required one-year sea-time training to proceed for Higher National Diploma.