NIMASA, Maritime Academy of India Sign Sea-Time Training Deal

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By Dipo Olowookere

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has restated its commitment to partnerships with international institutions for sea time training of Nigerians under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).

Director General of NIMASA, Mr Dakuku Peterside, said this during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the agency and the Maritime Academy of India in Lagos for on-board sea time training of some graduates of the programme.

Mr Peterside disclosed that the agreement between both parties covers the training of 60 cadets in three batches of 20 each.

“This MOU will help reduce the amount of cadets awaiting sea-time by clearing up the first 60 of the backlog in three batches of 20 each,” he stated.

He congratulated the 20 trainees under the first batch of the scheme and tasked them to be dedicated, disciplined, and committed to making the best use of the opportunity to develop themselves and aid national development.

“We are proud that you will be joining the global merchant fleets. Be sure to represent Nigeria positively,” the DG told the trainees. “We are determined to get all of your mates the much needed sea-time. Under the current leadership of NIMASA, we are working very hard to provide sea-time for all that have gone through our NSDP,” he added.

Mr Peterside expressed NIMASA’s determination to explore and use appropriate avenues to ensure that Nigerian seafarers got the right exposure and training to excel in the global maritime space, saying in the near future Nigeria would be a supplier of qualified seafarers to the rest of the world.

He said the agency was in negotiation with other academies with access to ocean going training vessels in countries, like Turkey and United Kingdom, among others, to secure sea time for Nigerians. He said he wanted to replicate in Nigeria the progress recorded under similar partnerships in countries, like Philippines, in the area of providing seafarers to the international market.

The Maritime Academy of India was represented at the MoU signing ceremony by Managing Director, TMC Shipping Pvt. Limited and the maritime Academy, Mr Neeraj Kumar.

In his remarks, Kumar appreciated NIMASA’s effort to develop the seafarers and commended the NSDP initiative. TMC is India’s leading maritime education, training and recruitment company.

NIMASA has trained about 2000 Nigerians under the NSDP scheme, with many cadets at various stages of completion of the programme. The Agency is tackling the issue of sea-time training for the cadets through full sponsorship, in partnership with some international institutions that have access to ocean going training vessels.

Some cadets have done their on-board sea time training under the first phase of the NIMASA fully-sponsored sea time training programme, facilitated alongside the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Marine Transportation in Alexandria, Egypt.

On-board training for another set of cadets was facilitated by the South Tyneside College, UK. The agency has also trained some Nigerians under a partnership with universities in The Philippines.

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