The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says it will post 500 seafarer cadets to various vessels in 2019 for seatime training under the National Seafarers Development programme.

The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, made this known to newsmen on Thursday in Lagos. Peterside who did not disclose the countries or the ships in which the cadets would be trained, said they would be sent out for the training in January.

“Next month, we are going to place as many as 500 of our cadets on various vessels to acquire seatime training.

“At the centre of a vessel are human beings who steer the vessel from one location to the other; without seafarers we cannot get it right in our industry.

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“We are supporting the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, to grow the industry’s human capacity and to make it a world-class institution that will produce graduates who can compete in any part of the world,” he said.

He noted that 200 cadets were also given a seatime experience by NIMASA in 2018. The 200 cadets were trained in Egypt, India and the United Kingdom.

The NIMASA boss also said that NIMASA would soon reach an agreement with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board to work out a five-year vessel demand forecast.

He said that the aim was to enable Nigerians to buy vessels and compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.