Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has granted scholarship to 100 newly recruited seafarers under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programmes (NSDP) students to embark on maritime training abroad.
Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, director general NIMASA said the gesture was part of NIMASA’s effort at laying foundation to make Nigeria the hub in maritime human capacity development in Africa.
He described the NSDP as designed to provide platform for the socially and economically unprivileged Nigerians to benefit from the government and better their worth.
Akpobolokemi also lashed out at critics who had painted the programme as frivolous and waste of public fund, adding that it is never a white elephant project.
“Mr. President is committed to this programme. NIMASA will not give up on this. It will outlive my tenure; it has nothing tenure attached to it. And I want to use this medium to tell those who have labeled this programme as waste that they are wrong.
The industry, world over, is in dare need of seafarers, although the industry has witnessed some decline in the recent times,” the DG said.
He also enjoined the cadets to be law abiding, and take their studies seriously, on the contrary, they will forfeit the largesse. Hence, they should shun crime, violence and other nefarious activities that is capable of derailing their peogrammes.
He promised that their organization will treat them like human beings, because he believe in the efficacy of human capital development, as future of the nation.
Akpolokemi exuded confidence in the crop of youths, NIMASA is sending abroad for training and added that the programme is not a waste as envisaged by numbers of persons.
He said that it will rather be useful in development of man power skills in other country and that, what the students owe Nigeria, is to come out in flying colours to enable them contribute their quote to the growth of the economy .
On his part, Professor Patrick Utomi, chancellor Pan-Africa University and special guest at the send off event, commended NIMASA for investing in youths.
He described the initiative as ‘’youth buy’’ as future leaders of tomorrow and for better economy.
Utomi enjoined them, to take the training with utmost seriousness, so as to imbibe the effectiveness of the Philippines seafarers, reputed in the world.