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NIMASA promises job placement for newly-graduated cadets

         L-R; Chief Kunle Folarin, Chairman, National Seafarers Board; one of the graduating cadets receiving his award from the Director-General of NIMASA, Ziakede Akpobolokemi, and his wife, Mrs Beauty Akpobolokemi

A cross section of the graduating cadets at the  event in Lagos on Saturday
 The Nigerian Maritime
Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has promised
possible job placements for the first batch of graduating cadets from the
Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme(NSDP).  

Mr Ziakede Akpobolokemi, the Director-General of
NIMASA, disclosed this while speaking at the dinner reception held for the
students on Saturday at the FourPoints by Sheraton Hotel in Lagos.

“We promise to do everything possible to provide jobs
for these graduates because when the youths are hungry, there will be trouble.

“But investing in the youths is the best assurance for
a peaceful nation,” he said.
The 22
graduating students left for the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and
Maritime Transport, Alexandria, Egypt in 2010 to study in Marine Engineering
and Neutical Sciences.

The NSDP was introduced by NIMASA to build manpower
capacity to address the need for local content in vessel manning.

The NIMASA Director-General said that the programme
was on course to achieving its plan to create a pool for manpower for the
maritime industry both locally and internationally.

He disclosed that the students had completed their
four-year training including sea-time experience which is mandatory for
international standards in seafaring.

“There were criticisms when we started and people
talked about sea-time. This programme has the sea-time component because it was
our resolve, and we have given them sea-time training.”

The Director-General said that there had been a quiet
revolution ongoing through its efforts to ensure that many Nigerians work in
the cabotage trade as a way of encouraging the local content in crewing.

He thanked the governments of Ebonyi, Ekiti, Ondo and
Benue States for keying into the programme, and urged other states to do same.

“We urge all other states to key into this programme.
Although it is expensive, but we have resolved to invest in the youths to build
Nigeria,” Akpobolokemi said.

Also speaking at the event, Chief Kule Folarin,
Chairman, National Seafarers Board, said the programme was poised to make the
Nigeria’s maritime industry one of the best in the world.
He expressed
confidence that there would always be jobs for people who get quality training
in the industry bearing the fact that over 4,500 vessels call at the nation’s

“With what NIMASA has started, I believe our maritime
industry will be one of the best. There will also be jobs for these youths
because over 4,500 vessels call at our ports yearly,” Folarin said.

He advised the graduating cadets to remain focused and
dedicated, adding that their Certificate of Competency had international value.

“Do great work for the nation because your profession
is key to the development of the economy.
“Your Certificate of Competence is equivalent to
currency which is recognised internationally, “he said.

Speaking on behalf of the graduating cadets, Mr Raphael
Faboro expressed gratitude to NIMASA for the training, and requested that they
be assisted to get jobs.

“We thank NIMASA and we promise to be good ambassadors
of the nation and we are prepared to serve diligently.

“We also appeal that more youths be trained on the
programme, and we should be assisted to get jobs,” he said.

Of the 22 graduating cadets,
nine were trained in marine engineering while 13 of them trained in nautical
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