Rector, Star Maritime Academy (SMA), Dr. Reuben Ovia, has called for the refloating of the defunct Nigeria National Shipping Line (NNSL) in so that Nigerians seafarers can gain more sea time training.
Ovia made the call on Saturday at the passing out parade of cadets of the academy at Itele Otta, Ogun State.
According to him, apart from sea time training, there are other benefits the country will gain from floating a national career despite past mistakes that crippled the NNSL.
He said: “We should not say because we made mistake before then we should not go back to retrace our steps because there are a lot of tripartite effect of not having a national career as a nation. National carrier helps in the training of future seafarers and marine engineers. It also generates foreign exchange for the country because every ship that comes to Nigeria pays in dollars, pounds sterling and we are looking for how to generate foreign exchange and God made us a coastal nation.”
He also said that a national shipping line will reduce unemployment in the country.
Guest speaker at the event, Dr. Samuel Babatunde, during his lecture, said that rather than give out money to Nigerian ship owners for the acquisition of vessels, government should buy ship and handover to private companies to operate.