The Chairman, National Seafarers Welfare Board, Otunba Kunle Folarin has advised the management of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to enter into an agreement with shipping companies if it wants to guarantee sea time training for Nigerian cadets.
The industry expert made this known in Lagos recently. According to Folarin, it is pertinent that NIMASA treats the cadets sea time training as part of the Seafarers programme and get shipping companies to accommodate them. Adding that rather wait until the completion of the programmme, the agreement should be effected either before the cadets are granted admission or while their courses are in progress.
Enumerating some of the plights of the Seafarers in the country, the Chairman, NSWB noted that despite spending over N40bn by NIMASA in training about 2,500 youths, that no concrete provision is made by the agency for the cadets seatime training. Insisting that without the seatime training the cadets cannot be properly employed, disclosed that many of them have resorted to riding okada, even as most are jobless.
Stressing that while shipping companies have their schedule of employment and that no one can compel them to engage the cadets on sea time training, Folarin advised, “The management of NIMASA should sign an agreement with the shipping companies before the commencement of the training of the cadets.
“Before the cadets start schooling, NIMASA should sign agreements with a substantial number of ship owners. That in one year, NIMASA will send a certain number of cadets to the shipping companies so that they can prepare for training of the cadets, he said.