The National Assembly has started making moves to address the vexatious issue of perennial lack of sea time experience for cadets who graduated from maritime institutions in Nigeria.
Consequently, on a recent visit to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Headquarters, London, United Kingdom, members of the National Assembly stressed the need for the United Nations (UN) specialised agency to come to the aid of Nigeria in making sure that Nigerian cadets get sea time experience.
Chairman, House Committee on Marine Transport, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who made the appeal when he led the delegation of the lawmakers on a courtesy visit to the IMO Secretary General, Mr. Koji Sekimizu, and said the request become imperative since Nigeria cannot do it alone.
While commending Sekimizu for receiving him and his team in audience within his busy schedule, Ugwuanyi recalled the strides Nigeria has made over the years as a key member of the IMO.
“The importance of the IMO to global shipping in particular cannot be over emphasised. Among your game changer was the ISPS code.
“Let me say that Nigeria is committed to the IMO and its operations. We participate actively paying our dues and ensure that IMO recommendations are ratified and domesticated as part of our municipal laws. In this light, we have domesticated and ratified most of the IMO conventions, and codes to which we are signatory in the last few years.
“We are even committed at the secretariat levels. Here I will like to mention Mrs. Mbanefo who served here for many years and retired meritoriously. I will also mention Mr. William Azuh, currently working with you and a worthy ambassador. We commend the IMO for its support to Nigeria as a nation, but like Oliver Twist we will ask for more. We urge the IMO to offer more technical assistance to our nation. We request for capacity building programmes generally, especially assistance in getting global shipping companies to engage cadets that come out of Nigeria Maritime Academy for their sea training,” Ugwuanyi said.