Minister of Transport, Idris Umar
Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar has reiterated the present administration' determination to address the human capacity deficiencies in the maritime sector.
To this end, it has stepped up efforts to train more seafarers that will handle various aspects in the sector so that Nigeria can improve in the comity of maritime nations.
Umar stated this when he paid a working visit to the abandoned training school of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Apapa, Lagos.
He expressed disappointment that such a well-equipped training school could be abandoned when the nation is experiencing a dearth of skilled sea men.
According to him, "the present administration is committed to completing abandoned projects littered all over the country, while the NPA training school, which had been the training ground of many seafarers and maritime workers, will not be an exception.
"The Ministry wants to look into making the training school very functional under a public private partnership (PPP) arrangement", he added.
Also speaking at the Badagry site of the proposed Maritime Academy, Umar expressed displeasure at the culture of abandonment of infrastructure, stating that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been mandated by Mr. President to evaluate abandoned projects with a view to reviving them.
He explained that because of President Goodluck Jonathan’s desire to see an improvement in maritime activities, he had set up a committee to look into ways of further raising the bar in the sector and that the committee had submitted its report.
The Minister revealed that very soon, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) will forward the recommended beneficiaries of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) to the Ministry for approval.
He stated that with the expected upsurge in activities in the sector coupled with the current shortage of seafarers in the country, "there is a need to put in facilities that will address the obvious shortfall in human resources to complement what the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Akwa Ibom State is already doing."