A former President of the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria, MARAN and Publisher of one of the leading maritime industry publications, Shipping Position Daily, Mr. Sesan Onileimo has attributed the rise in maritime-related crimes like piracy, oil theft and other kind of crimes to unemployment of seafarers produced under the National Seafarers Development Programme, NSDP by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA and the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN in Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
Speaking during a panel discussion at the just concluded maiden MARAN Annual Maritime Lecture, MAMAL 2023 held in Lagos recently, Onileimo expressed worries over the mass of unemployed youths in the country describing them as willing tools for maritime insecurity.
“There’s a mass of unemployed youth that the society has foisted on us, an idle hand is a willing tool. And I would like to look at this from two angles, there are two categories of unemployed willing youths: the ones trained by NIMASA under its National Seafarers Development Programme who were trained, qualified with or without CoC but waiting to have something to do. They are there, they want to be active, they are the tools that are being used to foment trouble.
“The second leg are those boys and girls who are trained locally, some of them are trained at Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN Oron, but there are those that are trained even in Agege here who wear uniforms so much so like that of the Navy, they are equipped and recruited into that business that has turned out to be a source of threat to our maritime environment.
“I am saying this because in the course of my years as a maritime journalist, I have had a course to interact with a few of them. If you go to Liverpool here, I am sure the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria, MWUN will bear me witness; the boys and girls who graduated from Oron, who have turned out to be canoe boys, were not trained in Oron to be handling canoe and boats but there is no job for them.
“These are the same boys who had five years of training but afterwards, there is no job. Take that guy to Niger-Delta, he is ready to do anything for as long as the money is available”, he said.
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