By Eromosele Abiodun
The Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS) has vowed to engage the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Federal Ministry of Transportation to correct the imbalances in the shipping industry and enforce the Angolan model of local content.
President of the NSC, Mr Andy Isichei stated this during the Investiture Ceremony and Inauguration of the Governing Board Council of the NCS on Friday in Lagos
He stated that the governing council will channel its energy towards encouraging and supporting collaborations and synergies with the federal government, the legislature and all stakeholder organisations that have prime interest in shipping and the development of the Nigerian maritime industry.
According to him, â€œThese bridges will provide seamless working relationships, unity of purpose, strengthening of capacities and capabilities across the board, creation of advocacy opportunities that the chambers can leverage on to facilitate growth, proficiency and profitability, which will benefit the industry and the Nigerian economy. Besides, he said the collaboration deepen shipping endeavours to ease doing business in line with the federal governmentâ€™s desire to ease doing business in Nigeria.
â€œWe are currently working on international collaborative programmes with some internationally acknowledge training organisations to provide cutting-edge, globally acceptable certificate courses in shipping and ancillary areas.â€
Isichei added: â€œFollowing our relationship with internationally acknowledged training institutions, we will re-gig our signature course, ABC of Shipping by improving its content and also provide more advanced modules to facilitate continuous professional capacity and development opportunities for middle/ higher level manpower in the maritime industry.
â€œWe are already collaborating with the Niger Delta University (NDU) to provide a professional Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) certificate programme in transport, oil and gas logistics.â€
This, he stated, would be sustained and also improved upon in all ramifications given the new relationship the Chamber is forging with reputable oil and gas/offshore institutions.
He added that the chamber will work with relevant persons, organisations and bodies to stern the tide of retrogression in on-board sea-time aspect of cadet training which has resulted in dearth of jobs for seafarers.
Furthermore, he said: â€œTo assist in building adequate tonnage for our shipping which will attract benefits internationally and improve our local content in cargo logistics,Â the chamber will improve advocacy to access the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) and all available funding opportunities within and outside the country.
The new NCS chief reaffirmed he will continue to foster cooperation, understanding and effective partnerships with all sectors of the Nigerian maritime sector including relevant government bodies and regulatory agencies.
â€œWe will partner the Legislature, the International Oil Companies (IOCs), indigenous Stakeholders and interested parties within the Nigerian Maritime industry, to ensure that Nigeria becomes the major hub of shipping business in West African sub region with world class standards in line with global best practices, â€œhe said.