Patrick Akpobolokemi, DG, NIMASA
No fewer than 100 youths have been sent overseas by Nigeria’s apex regulatory authority, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), for training as seafarers.
The training of the youths is part of the agency’s ongoing aggressive capacity building, especially in the training of seafarers across the country.
The 100 cadets brings to 1,854 the number of young Nigerians currently being trained in various maritime courses such as Marine Engineering, Naval Architecture and Nautical Sciences in leading maritime institutions in Egypt, India, Malaysia, Philippines and the United Kingdom.
In addition to these foreign training, NIMASA is set to establish four centres of the Institute of Maritime Studies (IMS) in four Nigerian universities and a Maritime University to expedite human capacity development in the sector.
The agency said the investment in human capacity development by the management of NIMASA has placed the country in a strategic position to effectively take control of its coastal trade within the next decade.
NIMASA Director General, Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, said this during the send-forth ceremony of 100 Nigerian youths for studies in various maritime fields at AMET University of Maritime Transport, Chennai, India.
Akpobolokemi, in his address, enjoined the beneficiaries to treat the opportunity given to them by the Agency as a rare one by dedicating themselves fully to their studies and be guided by the rules and regulations of the University, in addition to the laws of the host country.
He noted that the Presidency was interested in the seafarers development programme and admonished the cadets to be good ambassadors of Nigeria while in India. His words: “In the years to come, as the Philippines are exporting seafarers all over the world, Nigeria will replicate same in the next 10 years, and also become a hub of maritime activities in Africa as far as human capacity is concerned.”
Prof. Pat Utomi of the Lagos Business School, in his contribution at the event, stated that the country would progress further if the government continues to place priority on human capacity development as it was the catalyst for the sustainable growth of the economy.
The programme, which will commence from India, will see the successful cadets proceed to the UK for a continuation of their studies, which will culminate in the cadets undergoing sea time training being the practical aspect of the comprehensive training. This ultimately gets them ready for an exciting life at sea.