The Chairman, Port Consultative Council (PCC), Otunba Kunle Folarin, has commended the Federal Government for filling the vacuum created by shortage of mariners in the country through personnel training.
Folarin made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.
He said that this was why government established the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), which was being administered by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
“The only way you can close the gap are in three ways. The first one is the conscious deliberate policy of government through NIMASA to increase capability and the capacity by numbers of seafarers that will be available in the near future.
“The second one is by creating maritime schools within the country that would be able to provide local opportunities for both officer cadre and junior or ratings to train in various disciplines that have demand either as marine engineers or as navigational officers who we call Nautical Science graduates.
“On the ratings, they could be trained as electricians; they could be trained as catering staff or oilers; greasers or able seamen so that they complement the officers’ cadre.
“The third one is for those who are the consumers of these seafarer services; the oil companies, the shipping companies; can have schemes by which they can train young people so that they have ready workforce for their own ships in the near future. “
Folarin, however, urged other states that had yet to key into the NSDP programme to do so to fill the gap being created by ageing seafarers.
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