Nigeria is set to become the largest supplier of seafarers in the West and Central Africa, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Director-General Dr Dakuku Peterside said yesterday in Egypt.
The country, he said, will achieve the feat in the next two years.
Addressing delegates and stakeholders at the ongoing African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Peterside said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration through NIMASA is working tirelessly to ensure that Nigeria becomes one of the major supplier of seafarers globally.
He said several billions of naira have been spent by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Transportation and NIMASA in the training of seafarers under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).
Peterside, who is also the Chairman of AAMA, said NIMASA has sponsored the training of many young Nigerians to stop foreign seafarers from dominating African and Nigerian territorial waters.
The NSDP initiative, he said, was conceived by the agency to bridge the gap observed in the dearth of seafarers in the country and to end foreign domination.
“Over the past years, we can see that there is a growing trend on the global supply of seafarers, which consists of both officers and ratings available for internationally trading merchant fleet,” he said.
Many young Nigerians, Peterside said, have been trained in various fields of maritime studies in Maritime Institutions in the United Kingdom, Egypt, Romania, India and the Philippines.
Nigerians, Peterside said, have natural maritime instincts that place them at an advantage over many other nationalities in the region.
Foreign and local shipowners, he said, would prefer Nigerian seafarers for unquestionable important qualities like dedication and discipline, industry, flexibility, loyalty, English language fluency, adaptability, positive work attitude, law-abiding, and problem-solving capability.
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