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Experts Push for Manpower Devt, Professionalism in Shipping Sector

Experts in the maritime industry on Tuesday
at the fifth edition of the Nigeria Maritime Expo(NIMAREX) said
development and growth of the sector will depend on capacity building and
professionalism.

Capt. Saib Olopoenia, the
President of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), said the issue
of well- qualified personnel to manage the industry was critical to its
sustainable development.



He said that the Maritime Academy
of Nigeria(MAN) in Oron, Akwa Ibom, lacked the capacity to produce seafarers of
international standard since they could not give the cadets seatime training.
“The right training makes a
seafarer marketable to the world, but the maritime academy does not give the
cadets the required seatime training.
“It is seen that a number of
youths are eager to become seafarers, but what about the right training for
them?” he noted.
According to the NAMM President,
Nigeria at the present has about 10,000 seafarers, which he said was inadequate
to run the nation’s maritime industry.
He said Nigeria could however
make huge economic gains and impact just like the Philippines does through
seafarers development and export that rakes in as much as $4.6 billion
annually.
Speaking at the occasion also, Rev. Jonathan Nicole, the President of the Shippers
Association of Lagos State, said the Nigerian cadets could begin to get seatime
training only when the shipowners acquire vessels.
Nicole, however, said that it
would take the stakeholders coming together to set up a fund that would be
geared towards vessel financing.
“We can train our seafarers in
the requisite seatime, so, I challenge stakeholders to come together to set up
a fund to enable us acquire vessels over time.”
Dr Eugene Nweke, the President of
the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, also said
that capacity building in all sub-sectors of the maritime industry remained
critical.
He said it was sad to see that
young officers still lacked seatime experience, which is a a requirement for
international standard.

Nweke also urged government to
dedicate adequate funding to development if the industry.

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