NNPC chief lauds refloat of national shipping line to train cadets

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Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), has said the re-establishment of the national fleet would be a training ground for cadets to gain sea time experience.

The Group Executive Director, Downstream, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC),  Henry Obi, said in an interview with journalists in Lagos.

According to him, the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners Association said since the demise of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL), there has been no meaningful manpower development programme in the maritime sector.

“It is a challenge today for cadets in Nigeria to have sea time experience which is one of the parameters for the assessment of cadets in the issuance of Certificate of Competence (CoC).

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“The CoC is a certificate required by cadets for career growth as seafarers.

“Establishment of a national fleet will reduce reliance on foreign ships for transportation of our crude oil.

“In the case of epidemic or war risk in a country, foreign vessels tend to avoid the country.

“The establishment of a national shipping fleet will help mitigate such challenges,“ Obi said.

He said that the establishment of a national fleet would go a long way in increasing activities in the maritime sector.

The executive director said there would be an increase in shipping -related support services in the country, leading to more employment opportunities.

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“The NNSL was established in 1957 and started operation in 1959 with three vessels and by 1979 had 24 oceangoing vessels.

“Unfortunately the company was later sold by the government due to dwindling fortune.