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Indigenous ship owner calls for review of seafarers’ training programme


 

Engr. Greg Ogbeifun

Engr.Greg
Ogbeifun, an indigenous ship owner and President, Ship Owners Association of
Nigeria (SOAN), has urged the
 Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to review the Nigerian Seafarers
Development Programme
(NSDP) in
order to achieve the goal of the programme.

Ogbeifun
made the call at a Maritime Students Conference, which held recently in Lagos,
while supporting the students’ plea for government to provide opportunities for
the mandatory sea time training.
He
applauded the initiative for its effort at salvaging the sector from the dearth
of trained professionals, and advised that structures for practical training be
established to accompany the academic aspect for a rounded programme.
The SOAN
President said that the disconnect in the programme resulted from the fact that
the Agency had not leveraged on its relationship with ship owners in Nigeria
and engaged them to provide training for seafarers.
He argued
that all over the world, the responsibility for training seafarers fell on ship
owners who at the end of the day became their employers, adding that adopting
such practice would improve the quality of Nigerian seafarers.
Ogbeifun
said that Shell tankers, the defunct
Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) and LNG tankers were some of the organisations that
train professionals, while he urged NIMASA to engage ship owners in the
training of seafarers as is the practice world over.
He said
fashioning out ship owners’ participation in the training programme would
improve the standard of Nigerian seafarers and ensuring that they are
employable at the end of the exercise.
Reacting
to this however, Mrs Irene Macford, who spoke on behalf of NIMASA, said the
Agency was concluding sea time arrangement for the students.
Macford said
NIMASA remained committed to ensuring that the seafarers who got trained met
internationally-acceptable standards.

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