NIMASA promises job placement for newly-graduated cadets

         L-R; Chief Kunle Folarin, Chairman, National Seafarers Board; one of the graduating cadets receiving his award from the Director-General of NIMASA, Ziakede Akpobolokemi, and his wife, Mrs Beauty Akpobolokemi

A cross section of the graduating cadets at the  event in Lagos on Saturday

 The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has promised possible job placements for the first batch of graduating cadets from the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme(NSDP).  

Mr Ziakede Akpobolokemi, the Director-General of NIMASA, disclosed this while speaking at the dinner reception held for the students on Saturday at the FourPoints by Sheraton Hotel in Lagos.

“We promise to do everything possible to provide jobs for these graduates because when the youths are hungry, there will be trouble.

“But investing in the youths is the best assurance for a peaceful nation,” he said.
The 22 graduating students left for the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Alexandria, Egypt in 2010 to study in Marine Engineering and Neutical Sciences.

The NSDP was introduced by NIMASA to build manpower capacity to address the need for local content in vessel manning.

The NIMASA Director-General said that the programme was on course to achieving its plan to create a pool for manpower for the maritime industry both locally and internationally.

He disclosed that the students had completed their four-year training including sea-time experience which is mandatory for international standards in seafaring.

“There were criticisms when we started and people talked about sea-time. This programme has the sea-time component because it was our resolve, and we have given them sea-time training.”

The Director-General said that there had been a quiet revolution ongoing through its efforts to ensure that many Nigerians work in the cabotage trade as a way of encouraging the local content in crewing.

He thanked the governments of Ebonyi, Ekiti, Ondo and Benue States for keying into the programme, and urged other states to do same.

“We urge all other states to key into this programme. Although it is expensive, but we have resolved to invest in the youths to build Nigeria,” Akpobolokemi said.

Also speaking at the event, Chief Kule Folarin, Chairman, National Seafarers Board, said the programme was poised to make the Nigeria’s maritime industry one of the best in the world.

He expressed confidence that there would always be jobs for people who get quality training in the industry bearing the fact that over 4,500 vessels call at the nation’s ports.

“With what NIMASA has started, I believe our maritime industry will be one of the best. There will also be jobs for these youths because over 4,500 vessels call at our ports yearly,” Folarin said.

He advised the graduating cadets to remain focused and dedicated, adding that their Certificate of Competency had international value.

“Do great work for the nation because your profession is key to the development of the economy.
“Your Certificate of Competence is equivalent to currency which is recognised internationally, “he said.

Speaking on behalf of the graduating cadets, Mr Raphael Faboro expressed gratitude to NIMASA for the training, and requested that they be assisted to get jobs.

“We thank NIMASA and we promise to be good ambassadors of the nation and we are prepared to serve diligently.

“We also appeal that more youths be trained on the programme, and we should be assisted to get jobs,” he said.

Of the 22 graduating cadets, nine were trained in marine engineering while 13 of them trained in nautical sciences.