Platforms Communications organisers of the Annual Maritime Students and Youth Conference has released a comprehensive communique, capturing observations, recommendations and resolutions reached at the 2022 edition of the conference.
Platform Reporters in this special reports bring you the full text of the Communique entitled, “A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF 6TH ANNUAL MARITIME STUDENTS & YOUTH (AMSAY) CONFERENCE ORGANISED BY PLATFORMS COMMUNICATIONS ON 27TH MAY, 2022 AT ROCKVIEW HOTEL, APAPA, LAGOS”.
PREAMBLE: The 2022 Annual Maritime Students And Youth (AMSAY) Conference is a one-day conference organised by Platforms Communications on Friday, May 27, 2022 at Rockview Hotel Apapa-Lagos.
The conference was well attended by maritime schools and students, maritime stakeholders, representatives of government agencies, young Maritime professionals, as well as captains of maritime industry.
The occasion which held discussions and proffered solutions to critical and contemporary issues affecting the future of Nigerian maritime students/cadets also availed the students the opportunity to voice their challenges, ask pertinent questions and enable government agencies, private companies and industry players to understand the challenges of the students with a view to helping them overcome such challenges and better position them for success as future leaders and successors of the Industry.
Above all, the 6th AMSAY Conference exposed the students and the up-coming young professionals to the enormous potential in the maritime sector and how to tap into it.
THEME: – The Central Theme of the 6th AMSAY Conference was titled, JOB CREATION FOR NIGERIAN YOUTHS THROUGH MARITIME SECTOR”. Hence, all Goodwill Messages by Stakeholders and Professional Groups, Special Addresses by agencies of government, the keynote speech, including paper presentations and discussions tilted in that direction.
– While the keynote speech was delivered by Capt Sunday Michael Umoren, Secretary-General, Abuja Memorandum of Understanding on Ports States Control for West and Central African Region, the Goodwill Messages were delivered by the President, Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES); the President-General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), the Father of the Day, Prof Callistus Ibe as well as the Mother of the Day, Dr Mrs Felicia Chinwe Mogo; even as the Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) delivered a Special Address to participants entitled, “DEVELOPMENT OF INLAND WATER TRANSPORTATION AS TOOL OF JOB CREATION FOR NIGERIAN YOUTHS”
– Former Director General of NIMASA, Barr Temisan Omatseye presented the Lead Paper Presentation entitled, THE YOUTH & PROSPECTS OF JOB CREATION THROUGH MARITIME SECTOR: MAXIMIZING CABOTAGE, LOCAL CONTENT AND EVERYTHING IN-BETWEEN”.
– Even as Prof Samuel Iyiola Oni of the University of Lagos delivered the Second Paper Presentation entitled, “ADDRESSING CONTEMPORARY ISSUES AND CHALLENGES FACING CADETS & SEAFARERS IN 21ST CENTURY MARITIME SECTOR”.
– Each of the Paper Presentation Sessions had Panel Discussions followed by Questions and Answers segments which was moderated by a competent Moderator.
OBSERVATIONS: a. Stakeholders and participants observed that the maritime industry has enormous potential to create jobs if well harnessed. Therefore, government should adopt the right policy strategies and create the right environment that will enable companies and individuals to create job opportunities for the teeming youths.
b. that adequate skill acquisition was necessary to make one employable. Hence, proper training in a globally recognised and accredited maritime institutions is key towards raising cadets and students who are qualified to tap into maritime potential and job opportunities.
c. that apart from seeking for employment, the young generation, using emerging technologies should also aspire to be entrepreneurs which will make them job creators instead of job seekers. Hence, there is need for self-discovery for the cadets and proper introspection to know or determine what one wants out of life.
d. There is need to redesign Nigeria’s maritime educational curriculum to make it align with current global realities.
e. There is need for skill acquisition and skill development. People should come into the labour market prepared and that skills beget skills. It takes an average of twenty years to recoup investment in training and there are stages in career development. The first is the learning stage, second is money making stage. Unfortunately, cadets always want to jump into the second stage which is the money making stage. This should be avoided.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Following Keynote speeches, Paper Presentations and panel discussions, the following recommendations were made to government and relevant authorities:
1. Currently, there are hundreds of manpower gaps in terms of officers and ratings. Hence, it’s recommended that the Federal government should intensify capacity building and training in line with local content and Cabotage policies to enable Nigerian youths take advantage of these job opportunities.
2. Cadets should avail themselves to the various areas of specialisations in the maritime industry and not focus only on seafaring. They should gear towards other certifications which will make them marketable and acceptable.
3. Given the increasing impacts of climate change in shipping, Nigerian students & cadets were advised to also consider undertaking trainings in the aspects of marine environment protection.
4. There’s need for a comprehensive career development plan for Nigerian students and cadets. Hence, the Federal government is advised to come up with a master plan for training and certification of Nigerian students and seafarers as well as a comprehensive long term career development plan for them.
5. There is urgent need to review the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006); and efforts should be made by relevant government agencies and authorities to address the issues of poor welfare of seafarers as many of them suffer abandonment, unlawful detentions, and are subjected to taxes which is out of tune with global practices.
RESOLUTIONS: After all perspectives and discussions were held, at the end of the conference, the following resolutions were reached:
I. that as Nigeria works towards harnessing sustainable blue economy, operators across board must show utmost respect for the marine environment to make it free from pollution as stakeholders condemn the magical pipeline through which some captains discharge oil wastes from their vessels. Hence, relevant government agencies and ship surveyors must always look out for traces of oil wastes so as to address the problem.
II. that the federal government should clear inland waterways of all impediments so as to take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which will create more jobs for Nigerian youths.
III. that while stakeholders commend the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on its Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), the agency must do whatever it takes to ensure that more cadets have access to sea-time training for their STCW.
IV. that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) must ensure proper implementation of the manning aspect of the Cabotage Law in order to ensure that no Cabotage vessels trading on Nigerian coastal waters is manned by foreigners henceforth since waivers have long been suspended.
Va. To solve the problem of sea time training for Nigerian cadets, the federal government should as a matter of urgency disburse the long awaited Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to enable indigenous ship owners acquire more vessels as there is no shipping without ships: while a law be put in place, mandating ship owners to take Nigerian cadets onboard their ships for training.
Vb. Also, government should acquire a dedicated training vessel which should be deployed for merchant shipping trade probably under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, the 6th edition of the AMSAY Conference was a huge success, thanks to the participation and contributions of the participants, and because the program has become a rallying point for all Nigerian maritime students who look forward to future editions each year, stakeholders call on relevant agencies and organisations to make budgetary provisions to support the yearly hosting of the event which exists to give hopes to Nigerian students in the midst of despairing challenges.
Mr Sylvanus Obasi
Convener, AMSAY Conference
Prof Capt Abiodun Sule,
Chairman, 6th AMSAY Conference
Capt Sunday Michael Umoren,
Keynote Speaker, 6th AMSAY Conference
Prof Callistus Ibe
Father of the Day, 6th AMSAY Conference
Dr Mrs Felicia Chinwe Mogo,
Mother of the Day, 6th AMSAY Conference.