The Nigeria Shipowners’ Association (NISA) has expressed its readiness to enter into constructive dialogue with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) over the administration and disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds (CVFF) and implementation of the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).
NISA’s Acting President, Alhaji Aminu Umar disclosed this during an exclusive chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in his office last week.
Umar said after the general elections scheduled to hold on March 28 and April 11, 2015, executive members of the association would meet with the management of NIMASA to discuss the status of the CVFF and modalities for its disbursement.
“We are just starting as an executive and the CVFF is something we will discuss with NIMASA to understand the position of the funds. So far, I know the CVFF is a fund that is being contributed by shipowners and has been accumulated for years, I feel we will look at it together with NIMASA to see the guidelines and processes to access the funds.
“After meeting with NIMASA, we will then advise our members appropriately on means by which they can access the funds so let us leave it at that for now,” he said while responding to a question on the fate of the CVFF.
On the implementation of the NSDP, Umar said: “Aside the CVFF, we intend to speak with NIMASA about the training of seafarers because one of the problems we are having in the industry is dearth of seafarers.
“Capacity building is like giving first hand training to people who are trained, though it is good to have scholarship for people to have education and come back but there is need for them to improve the capacity of MAN Oron, College of Fisheries and Institute of Oceanography and the Maritime University that is being built in Warri.
“I think there is one aspect they did not do which is partnering with shipowners because seafarers training does not end in classrooms. After going to classrooms, there is need to have sea time training, and on that they are supposed to partner with shipowners,” he said.
He assured that NISA members will be happy to support NIMASA’s quest for manpower development in the maritime industry by providing quality seafarer training to cadets.
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