Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, made this known while addressing newsmen on the sidelines of the G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea meeting, which took place in Lagos on Monday.
Peterside said that though the issue of getting seatime is global, NIMASA has made significant efforts to immediately enable the cadets proceed on their training.
“Sea-time is a global challenge. But, in the most recent times, we have been able to tie up a deal, and so, we are sending 200 of our cadets to Egypt for sea-time training, and 89 of them to the United Kingdom.
“So, before the end of this year, or at most by first month of next year, we will be sending a total of 289 persons to get seatime training on ocean-going vessels,” Peterside said.
Giving a breakdown, the DG said that over 2500 persons had been sent to various institutions of learning to be trained as seafarers and nautical engineers, and that 1400 of them had graduated at a time.
Peterside added that “several of them got seatime, and they are already plying their trade in international ocean-going vessels.”
He gave clarifications that the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom, produces middle-level manpower to pilot or drive vessels.
According to Peterside, the target for MAN, Oron, is Cabotage Vessels, and if it is for ocean-going vessels, they would need further training.
He, however, added that “But, the NSDP is targeted at getting our people onboard ocean-going vessels. And the capacity of the vessel, whether engine capacity or dead weight capacity that you do your seatime, will determine the kind of vessel that you will be employed in; if you do in local vessels, nobody will employ you in ocean-going vessels.