The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, has restated the Federal Government’s commitment to strengthening the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).
Amaechi, speaking during the World Maritime Day celebrations, themed – ‘Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future’, in Lagos.
“Seafaring evolved from simple apprenticeship to specialised and rigorous nautical education, due to the effects of digitalisation and the emergence of technologically advanced ships.
“Given the emerging realities, more attention should be given to seafarers’ specialised training to make them capable of performing expert tasks in their various fields of engagement aboard vessels,” he said.
Earlier, Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said Nigeria must take careful steps to optimise her rich maritime resources to consolidate the country’s status as a regional maritime hub.
He called the maritime industry “a window to economic prosperity and national development of nations”, emphasising that Lagos has utilised its maritime status to foster national unity and cohesion as the Centre of Excellence.
Represented by the managing director, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Damilola Emmanuel, Sanwo-Olu said that Nigeria needed to consolidate her position as the maritime hub for West and Central Africa by fully harnessing her maritime resources and ensuring safety and security within the nation’s territorial waters and in the Gulf of Guinea.
The director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said the country prioritised the welfare of seafarers and continued to work in close adherence to standards set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for their wellbeing.
Jamoh extolled the strategic role of seafarers in the global supply chain and commended the IMO for focusing on seafarers’ welfare since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019.
“NIMASA has continued to march in lockstep with the IMO on all matters concerning seafarers since the outbreak of COVID-19.
“We recognised that the COVID-19 pandemic placed extraordinary demands on seafarers during the lockdown occasioned by the pandemic across the globe yet seafarers remained in service, delivering critical supplies to feed and heal a sick and despairing world.
“I think seafarers will, no doubt, continue to remain at the Core of Shipping in the future, in line with this year’s World Maritime Day theme,” he said.
In his goodwill message, the Chief of Naval Staff who was represented by Rear Admiral Adaji, commended the Deep Blue Project initiative and assured of the Nigerian Navy’s commitment to its successful implementation
The World Maritime Day was set aside by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to draw attention to issues in the maritime industry.