Master Mariners seek discontinuation of NSDP programme


…Wants cadets to explore other options

The Nigerian Associatio of Master Mariners (NAMM) has called for the discontinuation of the National Seafarers’ Development (NSDP) being spearheaded by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The President of NAMM, Capt. Tajudeen Alao who made this submission in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos said that the call had become necessary as there was ten years backlog of cadets trained by the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron in Akwa-Ibom who were currently roaming the streets without any meaningful engagement.

Alao while insisting that the NSDP should be scrapped noted that efforts should be geared towards assisting the existing cadets even as he advised cadets to explore other job opportunities as all of them would not go to sea.

According to him,” The NSDP programme was not well-researched and we at the Master Mariners never supported it because we believe that we have the Academy there and whatever it takes to support the academy to compete globally, that was what we supported. Was this money for sending people abroad taken from the promotional money of NIMASA or was it taken from the 5%? Where did the budget come from? There was a 60:40 sharing formula initially when it started, 40% for NIMASA while 60% was for the states and many states could not take hold of this 60%, they couldn’t afford it because one person’s training is enough to train ten medical doctors.

“It was supposed to be 100% government, federal and state government but when this regime said it is 100% NIMASA under Akpobolokemi, I was startled but the number of the candidates is too many and the number of candidates was not based on quota system anymore. It was geared towards a particular region and this region under the amnesty programme had also engaged in massive training of seafarers. Today, the place is over bloated with half-baked people and no jobs for these people.

“The people who were trained in South Africa were trained as what? They needed to have segmented training and they carried some people to a school in South Africa and trained them in all certifications, they all collected testimonial in all relevant areas of specialized courses without experience, without tutelage, some people come with CDAs, Watch-keeping, live boat and so on.

“It must be for need assessment, that is the practice all over the world and then, you trained these people and they could not move ahead, they could not even cross the first hurdle not to talk of the second hurdle. Meanwhile, you need the operational, middle and the higher cadre. There are already existing people; ex Naval people, ex national line people, ex private people that you needed to take statistics of and see where you need to bridge for them to be quickly absorbed into the industry. They are not going to start from the scratch again; they are already in the industry. Nobody has done that.

“They should discontinue the NSDP programme because you have ten years backlog from Oron who are roaming the streets. They should scrap the NSDP programme and see how they are going to help these cadets. I also want them to diversify because not everybody will go to sea.”

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