Nigeria Needs Holistic Approach To Manpower Development In Maritime – Master Mariner



President NAMM, Capt. Saib Olopoenia
Manpower development for the Nigerian maritime industry requires a holistic approach, the President of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), Capt. Saib Olopoenia has said.
Olopoenia made the statement at an end-of-year dinner on Saturday at the Rockview Hotel in Apapa, Lagos.

The occasion was organised by the NAMM.
The master mariner noted that, in spite of interventions by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and some private efforts, training of seafarers still needed an improved structure.
“For the seafarers’ training, interventions here and there by NIMASA and the private sector are not holistic enough. We need to look at it from the total package.
“We have submitted a document to the ministry of transport and copied NIMASA, NPA, Shippers’ Council and NIWA, so that we can look at it holistically, rather than taking it in piecemeal,” he said.
According to him, acquiring a training vessel for the purpose of training seafarers will not be the best approach even though it is a welcome idea.
He said that the option for adequate training would be to have the cadets trained on board trading vessels to expose them adequately.
“The training of seafarers goes beyond just having a training vessel, because there are limitations to the kind of training that can be done on training vessels.
“The best training you can get is to get training on a ship that is actually doing trading worldwide and calling at ports, where you can be introduced to the rudiments of seamanship
“However, getting a training vessel now will be a good start so that the cadets that are roaming around now will have the basic training,” Olopoenia said.
He said that the document submitted by the master mariners to the ministry of transport advised consideration based on the number of needed maritime colleges.
According to him, for the purpose of meaningful development, it is useful to know the number of cadets who need training yearly so that adequate planning can be made for that purpose.
The NAMM president also noted that inadequacy of ship repair facilities had caused some vessels operating on Nigerian waters to go to neighbouring countries for dry-docking.
On the perennial gridlock in Apapa, he said that it had led to economic losses to port users.
“The Apapa traffic gridlock continues to pose severe drawbacks to business activities within Apapa metropolis.
“Vehicular movements grind to a halt, and road users are put through unnecessary trauma trying to get to their destinations.
“The economic losses to port users include ship delays,” he said.