WORLD MARITIME DAY: Merchant Navy tasks federal government on training of Seafarers for modern vessels. 

WORLD MARITIME DAY: Merchant Navy tasks federal government on training of Seafarers for modern vessels. 



As the world celebrate World Maritime Day (WMD), the Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNOWTSSA) has tasked the federal government to assist in training and re-skilling of Nigerian seafarers 5o meet with modern day global technological advancement
The group made the call in view of the high expectations from seafarers saying at least 80 percent of indigenous seafarers should be abreast of required knowledge on modern vessel operations.
In his anniversary speech on Thursday, the National President of NMNOWTSSA, Comrade Bob Yousou also charged seafarers to embrace new technologies associated with computerised vessels
as part of efforts to remain in the shipping business of the world.
Comrade Yousou who is a seasoned marine engineer, reiterated that with the theme of the year’s WMD event, “New Technology For Gender Shipping”, Nigerian seafarer, mostly as it affects senior cadre officers should thrive and catch up with the new innovation in modern vessels operation.
The National President said, “We join other nations to celebrate our seafarers worldwide for their contributions to the global communities despite the lots of challenges they encounter while discharging their duties. We as a nation should not be left behind for the new innovation in modern vessels.
“We should try by any means to fit into the new technology so as to be part of the ship. Change is inevitable and therefore we implore Nigerian seafarers to be up and doing to catch up with the new technology in the maritime mostly the computerised vessels.
“In order for them not to lag behind, Chief Yousou called on the federal government to assist in the  training and re-skilling of seafarers to meet with modern day technological advancement in shipping, adding that expectations are high for about 80 percent Indigenous seafarers to be abreast with required knowledge on modern  vessels
While further highlighting some of the challenges faced by Nigerian seafarers in the shipping Industry, the unionist maintained that vessels acquisition is of paramount interest of local content pointing out that Nigeria is a maritime nation and a hub of shipping activities in the West Africa sub region, thus the need to refloat a national fleet the can be operated on Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement.
According to him, the revamping of national carrier can serve economic purposes through conveyance of Nigerian crude oil and other agro allied produce overseas, saying that the pride of every maritime nation is to have vessels.
Harping on job creation for seamen, Yousou added that acquisition of national carrier will help reduce unemployment rate and create room for job placement of Nigerian Seafarers which in turn will also lead to our economy’s growth if well managed.
He noted that Nigerians will directly and
indirectly gain employment through the revamping of national fleet.
On revenue drive for government, the Marine Engineer said ” Shipping business remains a very good revenue generating means if well managed by a nation as the vessels acquired can be used for international commerce and trade. By these, a lot of resources are
generated through the shipping trade of transporting goods and services within local and international waters.”
For sea time experience for Nigerians , Yousou pointed out that Nigeria cadets can serve their training onboard these vessels if acquired by the government, noting that:” We are aware that it has been a big challenge for our teeming cadets to get Sea – Time experience due to unavailability of vesses to take them onboard. By acquiring vessels, the
problem of sea-time onboard is put to rest.
On capital flight, the President affirmed that :”With the national fleets in place the idea of paying huge amount of foreign currency to multinational shipping companies to lift product for us will no longer be there, by this, capital flights are reduced to the barest
For the recognition of Nigeria Seafarers Certificate of Competency (COCs) by
international communities, Yousou added that” As we speak today, the COCs issued by Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is not recognized by
some maritime countries due to lack of bilateral/multilateral agreement”

Happy Diamond Age
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