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A former Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Temisan Omatseye, has said that Nigeria is losing about $300 million yearly for berthing five degrees East on Nigerian waters.
Omotseye said this at the 3rd Annual Conference tagged: “A Day with Nigeria Maritime Students 2018’’ organised by Platforms Communications in Lagos on Monday. He urged the Federal Government to look into the issue to enable Nigerian ports to be cheaper and attractive for port users.
According to him, the foreign ship owners have taken over all the maritime business, while the ship-owners are left with nothing. “Nigerian shippers should be allowed to take charge of their goods as soon as they arrive the country because this is what is applicable all over the world. “All the foreign ship owners will not allow Nigerians to get near vessels as soon as they arrive the country, in spite of being the landlord of the ports.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), he urged the government to assist Nigerian ship owners to be in charge because by so doing, they will create more employment for teaming youths. “Nigeria will soon be competing with its foreign counterparts with the recent equipment government has provided for the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which is presently having multiplier effect on their operations,’’ Omotseye said.
He commended NIMASA for the establishment of the National Seafarer Development Programme (NSDP), which had assisted in the training of some Nigerian youths to the level of Sea time training.
Omotseye, however, advised youths that were yet to obtain acquire sea time training not to relent, adding that Nigeria need their services because most of the seafarers were ageing and there was the need for replacement.
Also speaking, the President, Africa Women in Maritime (WIMA), Mrs Jean Chiazor-Anishere, urged the Federal Government to collaborate with Platform Communications to obtain data of cadets with distinctions.
She said that if experienced cadets were employed, it would have positive effect on operations of the maritime industry as well as encourage the other students to work hard.
Chiazor-Anishere said that many graduating cadets had been able to get employment as a result of this Annual programme organised by platform Communications.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Platform Communications, Mr Sylvanus Obasi, said it was necessary for government to reposition the Nigerian Maritime academies for new opportunities and technology in global maritime operations.
Obasi said that there was also the need for government to know if the maritime institutions have what it takes to train professionals who could compete globally.
“I feel that we need to reposition our institutions if our cadets still go to Ghana to upgrade their certification in other for them to be able to work onboard foreign vessels.
“We need to reposition our maritime institutions if they do not have modern equipment as well as repositioning Nigerian universities to be offering shipping and admiralty laws.
“There are new challenges which have given rise to new innovations, technology, information as well as practice.
“Nigerian Maritime students need to be in tune with these changes in other to play at that global level as professionals,’’ Obasi said.
He urged the students to begin to engage in research to enable them get opportunities which would go a long way in stemming the rate of unemployment.