130 cadets trained under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) have graduated from the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Alexandria, Egypt.
This brings the total number of NSDP graduates so far to 1,045 representing 42 percent graduates of the over 2500 beneficiaries.
Director General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, who disclosed this at the cadets’ graduation ceremony recently, said NIMASA sponsored over 2500 aspiring cadets to the best maritime institutions around the world including Egypt, Romania, Philipines, United Kingdom and India.
Giving a breakdown, he said 226 graduated from the Arab Academy in Egypt, 76 from South Tyneside, Newcastle in England while 743 graduated from various partner Universities in The Philippines.
Represented by NIMASA’s Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Gambo Ahmed congratulated the cadets who had their degrees in various maritime related disciplines ranging from marine transport and logistics, nautical engineering and enjoined them to bring to bear the knowledge acquired to improve on the fortunes of the Nigerian maritime industry.
He said the school has offered to partner with NIMASA in providing sea time training for the graduating students and other NSDP graduands from other schools, which has hitherto been a challenge. This he noted will further complement the agency’s other efforts in getting sea time training for graduate cadets.
Peterside added that NIMASA is also exploring other avenues to enrich the NSDP programme and reiterated that the impact of the programme would be felt world over, as Nigeria would soon start exporting Seafarers like the Philippines and other reputable maritime nations. This he said will reduce unemployment in the country and attract the much needed foreign exchange.
Coordinator of NSDP, Victor Egejuru, Deputy Director, Maritime Labour in NIMASA, the youths thanked the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and Management of NIMASA for the opportunity given them to progress in their chosen career and in growing capacity in the maritime sector.
The graduation ceremony was attended by the Director, Maritime Safety and Security of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Danjuma Mika’il Dauda, and the Coordinator, African and Asian Affairs of the Arab Academy, Prof. Alsnosy Balbaa.
NSDP was floated by NIMASA in 2008 to address the dearth of trained and certified seafarers in the country which was identified as an impediment to Nigeria’s robust participation in the global shipping business.
It is expected that the programme would bridge the knowledge gap and enhance the economic benefit of the sector as well as place the country in the league of maritime nations.