Plateau govt latest to join NSDP sponsorship, says NIMASA

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA has said that the government of Plateau state is the latest to join the list of state governments partnering the agency on its Nigerian Seafarers’ Development Programme, NSDP.

The Director- General of the agency, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, disclosed this in Lagos while addressing a press conference organised by the agency.

Akpobolokemi who was represented by the Executive Director, Maritime Safety and Shipping Development, Capt. Ezekiel Bala Agaba,  said that the coming of the Plateau Government has given the programme a boost.

The NSDP was being spearheaded by NIMASA in partnership with various State Governments.

Akpobolokemi also said that NIMASA was making effort to place cadets from the Maritime Academy of Nigeria in Oron, Akwa-Ibom state to perform their sea-time training on vessels across the world.

Also, the agency said it had registered about 3,938 seafarers, as well 44 cadets’ on-board Cabotage vessels for the sum of N8million on each beneficiary and had trained 1,498 dock workers in the first half of 2014.

He acknowledged that the issue of sea time training had been a major challenge for Nigerian seafarers in the past and that NIMASA’s policy of quietly placing seafarers on board Cabotage vessels has recorded tremendous success.

Akpobolokemi said that :”Currently, if we decide to go and hire or procure a vessel to train cadets, we are looking at N23million per year on each cadet, and I am sure you know that NIMASA currently cannot afford that. It is not funded by government, it is funded by 3 per cent of vessels that come to Nigeria.

“If our trade goes down and vessels don’t come, we don’t earn money, there is no point hiring vessels and over the year we won’t be able to maintain it.

“This is why we have decided to go a cheaper road by sending the cadets to available vessels all over the world, and the cost goes down from N23million by owning a vessel, to about N8million per cadet which is being prudent.

`”We are not relenting on our quest to ensure that all beneficiaries of this programme acquire sea-time training, which was a challenge in the past,” the director-general said.

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