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Amaechi harps on specialised training for seafarers

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Amaechi harps on specialised training for seafarers

By Chiazo Ogbolu

Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi said on Thursday that more attention should be paid to specialized training of seafarers to make them capable of performing expert tasks.

The minister told Lagos that the National Marine Development Program (NSDP) would be strengthened to step up engagement with reputable shipping companies.

Amaechi gave the assurance during the celebration of World Maritime Day 2021.

The event was organized by the Federal Ministry of Transport.

Its theme was “Seafarers at the heart of the future of the merchant navy”.

Amaechi, who noted that the NSDP was sponsored by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Security Agency (NIMASA), said there were more than 7,000 seafarers on the Nigerian Seafarers Register.

According to him, the federal government is committed to ensuring that cadets receive adequate training at sea.

“In view of the emerging realities, more attention should be paid to the specialized training of seafarers to enable them to perform expert tasks in their different areas of engagement on board ships.

“In particular, navigation has evolved over the years, moving from apprenticeship to specialized and rigorous nautical training made necessary by the digitization and development of modern and state-of-the-art vessels.

“The world is lacking skilled seafarers today and the rapid rise in digital technology and automation means that one of the world’s oldest professions is set to change more than ever over the next two years”, did he declare.

He added that with the evolution of technology, seafarers could work in a much smaller crew, perform complex individual tasks, and have greater interaction and engagement with the global business environment.

“We will continue to pursue policies and programs that will make the maritime industry attractive to local and foreign investors and support the implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s instruments to ensure safety, well-being and empowerment. seafarers, ”he said.

Dr Bashir Jamoh, Director General of NIMASA, gave assurances that seafarers will continue to remain at the heart of policies on navigation issues.

He noted that the role of NIMASA as a regulatory body was to ensure that Nigerian seafarers were treated fairly by shipowners and employers through the implementation of approved terms and conditions of employment and collective agreements.

“We will continue to give priority attention to capacity development and employment of seafarers.

“The agency launched the Seafarer Identity Document Registration Portal and other electronic platforms for dockworkers and their employers to facilitate verification and registration processes in line with international best practices. “, he added.

Jamoh said the theme for World Seas Day 2021 touches on issues relating to the human element of navigation, such as the safety and security of life on board ships and the well-being of seafarers.

He said there was a need to ensure a properly trained and skilled workforce, ready to meet the challenges and use the opportunities of digitization and automation.

“On this special occasion, therefore, we have every reason to celebrate the sailors for their contribution to the Nigerian economy and because they give more meaning to the lives of citizens by playing an important role in providing the essentials. for our collective survival, ”he said. .

Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko, acting director general of the Nigerian Ports Authority, said maritime transport is fundamental to boosting the economy, adding that seafarers are highly valued.

“A day to celebrate sailors shows that we are moving forward and that we care about the well-being of sailors.

“It’s important to understand that the movement of goods around the world is done by sea, at least 90 percent.

“Seafarers play a key role in the economic development of the country. Problems have been identified and most of them concern their well-being, their benefits, their insurance; solutions must be proposed.

“Everyone has a role to play, whether it is NIMASA, NPA, other agencies or shipping companies; they should make sure seafarers are taken care of, ”he said.

Nigeria Customs Comptroller General Retired Col. Hammed Ali said without the international transport of goods shipped by seafarers and other players in the maritime industry, the global economy could not function.

Earlier, Dr Magdalene Ajani, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transport, said maritime transport was an efficient mode of transport facilitated by the efforts of seafarers.

She said that without the efforts of seafarers, the world economy would not function properly.

“The theme – ‘Seafarers at the heart of the future of maritime transport’ – aims to increase the visibility of seafarers by drawing attention to the invaluable roles they play now and will continue to play and the reason for which they are the center of attention today.

Source: NAN

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