By Dipo Olowookere The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (NAE) have flagged-off Sea Time Training Experience program for 20 cadets. The program is aimed at reducing the nation\u2019s dependence on foreign personnel in the marine operations. The trainees were selected from the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System (NOGIC JQS). Under the program, 10 cadets each will be trained by Marine Platforms Limited and Elshcon Nigeria Limited respectively. The training will last for 36 months, of which 18 months will be on board a vessel, while 18 months will be dedicated for acquiring international certifications recognized by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to enable them practice their profession effectively. Speaking at the flag off ceremony held recently, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote explained that the Board\u2019s core mandates focused on the promotion and development of human and material capacity so as to grow Nigerian Content. The Executive Secretary who was represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, NCDMB, Mr Daziba Patrick Obah enjoined operating and service companies to initiate legacy Human Capacity Development programs in addition to the mandatory on the job training programs executed on the back of projects. Such efforts he said, will help build capacity and capability and further press home the fact that Nigerian Content is a better and cheaper way to do business in the oil and gas industry. In his comments, the Vice-Chairman\/Managing Director, Nigerian Agip Exploration Ltd (NAE), Mr Massimo Insulla who was represented by the District General Manager, Mr Marco Rotondi explained that the seafarers program is dedicated to training young school leavers from host communities to acquire skills and certifications that would enable them work in vessels operating in Nigerian waters in line with the Cabotage Act. He stated that the Practical Sea Time Experience Program was a product of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by NAE and the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) in 2014 to collaborate in various areas to develop the oil and gas Industry. He regretted that most graduates of Marine Engineering from the nation\u2019s universities and cadets from National Maritime Academy, Oron had nowhere to perform the mandatory Practical Sea Time Experience that will enable them get international certification, hence affecting their employment potentials. This program, he added, will help to address the challenges. Declaring the training open, the Amayanabo of Twon-Brass, Bayelsa State, King Alfred Diete Spiff thanked NAE and NCDMB for conceiving the training program which will create jobs in the economy. He advised the cadets to make good use of the opportunity and become good ambassadors of their communities.