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Master Mariners demand appointment of maritime adviser for President Buhari

President, Nigerian Association of Master Mariners(NAMM), Capt. Tajudeen Alao(right) presenting Capt. Ibikunle Olayiwola with his certificate of membership, at the NAMM Secretariat .

The Nigerian Association of Master Mariners
(NAMM) has demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari appoints an adviser on maritime
issues, in order to better appreciate the industry and attend to its demands
with immediacy.

President of the NAMM, Capt. Tajudeen Alao,
made the call on Thursday on the occasion of its certificate of recognition
presentation to some members, while reviewing the association’s efforts at sanitising
the maritime sub-sector, to ensure professionalism.

Alao stated that the appointee who should
be a maritime expert would best advise the President on industry matters from
time to time.

The NAMM President said: “With maritime as
the backbone of the nation’s economy, it is important that the President gets
an adviser. We all know the importance of an adviser. And for a professional
who understands the industry deeply, the adviser can look at the President in
the eyes and tell him the truth.

“As problematic as the Apapa gridlock is,
some would come here and say they can’t see it, but an adviser would see it as
it is. Even if the roads are fixed, what about the tank farms? For that, heavy
traffic will continue to come into the port city,” Capt. Alao said.

Presenting Capt. Ibikunle Olayiwola with
his certificate of membership, the NAMM’s president expressed the association’s
resolve to collaborate with industry regulatory agencies and other stakeholders
for the advancement of the sub-sector.

He noted that as had been instituted for
the purpose of professionalism, no master mariner should be recognised to
practice without a recognition through the membership certificate from the mariners
“Clearance House” with the NAMM.

He added that on the part of government, “We
want to see more deliberate actions on the part of the government in that
regard to ensure lasting solutions; where they can be moving goods by badges
out of Apapa, also using pipelines to move liquid cargo, so that the traffic
into Apapa will be reduced.”

For Capt. Olayiwola, receiving his
certificate of membership and identity card meant a recognised step in
professionalism, which he was grateful for.

Speaking on mentorship for the younger
generation, Olayiwola frowned at the quality of training for younger cadets in

He advised that the institutions of
training should engage ex-seafarers who are theoretically vast and with
practical experience that they could share, and added that the country should
train only the number of cadets that can be accommodated on-board vessels for practical

He said: “You must have cadets relative to
the ships available in your country or within West Africa. You cannot train
thousands of cadets without available ships to put them, and not also beyond
your maritime economy.”

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