Maritime sector is short supply of human capital with over 600,000 skills gap globally and this deepens the need for more training institutions in Nigeria that meet global best standards.
The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh revealed this today while receiving the management of Greg Ogbeifun Institute of Maritime Technology together with their partners from the Training Center for Blue Collar Port Workers in the Port of Antwerp Belgium, and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation members.
“Studies have established over 600,000 human capacity skill gap in the maritime sector. The need for more seafarers and dockworkers in Nigeria is obvious. Training and retraining of manpower is required for a virile maritime industry. We will do everything necessary in terms of regulations to ensure our training facilities meet international standards,” Dr. Jamoh said.
Meanwhile, he noted that NIMASA is working on adopting a reciprocity policy for Recognition of Certificate of Competency and other Certificates to facilitate international trade, adding that the Agency is committed to the domestication of her capacity development programme in order to save the nation scarce foreign exchange needed in training young Nigerians abroad.
The NIMASA boss urged the management of the Institute to enter into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with reputable international learning Institutes to ensure that the quality of education meets internationally acceptable standards adding that as a new Maritime Institute, the gaps identified by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in the latest IMSAS report should be given priority and addressed.
“NIMASA has recognized the vast improvement in quality of maritime training in the country and we are looking inwards in our quest to develop human capacity for the Nigerian maritime industry. We are providing the required regulations to ensure that certificates earned from Institutes in Nigeria are recognized globally. When we are satisfied that all requirements have been met, we will then adopt the reciprocity rule in recognition of certificates. NIMASA will not recognize the Certificates issued by Maritime Administrations of non-friendly nations whose decision not to recognize certificates issued in Nigeria are unjustifiable,” he said.
Dr Jamoh disclosed that the Agency has secured approval of fiscal incentive of zero percent import duty on brand new vessels adding that the Agency is working on monetary incentive such as the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund which he said NIMASA awaits further directives from the Federal Ministry of Transportation.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Greg Ogbeifun Institute of Maritime Technology, Engineer Greg Ogbeifun said the Institute is committed to collaborating with existing institutes. He commended the NIMASA Management under the leadership of Dr Jamoh for championing the quest to secure both fiscal and monetary incentives for stakeholders in the maritime industry.
“We at GOMIT are committed to attaining internationally acceptable standards in training dockworkers. Government should provide us with the enabling environment to achieve our goal. We will identify a training need assessment for pool workers. We consider certification as a key component of the training loop”, Engr Ogbeifun said.
Representatives from the Port of Antwerp and officials of the Edo State (Polytechnic Usen) where the Greg Ogbeifun Institute of Maritime Technology is located were also present at the meeting.
This information was disseminated via a press statement issued by NIMASA’s Assistant Director, Public Relations, Mr. Osagie Edward.