How Nigeria can create National Carrier for maritime job opportunities, seatime – Effedua
Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron Akwa Ibom, Commodore Duja Effedua (Rtd.) has expressed confidence that the country could establish a national carrier through lease, and thereby able to open new business opportunities for local players in the shipping industry as well as give cadets access to seatime.
Effedua stated this in an interview while supporting a view by Marine Engineer, Olu Akinsoji, who shared his thoughts on important and necessary actions that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA),as Maritime Administration, could take to give stronger integrity to Certificate of Competency(CoC) issued to seafarers trained in-country.
He noted that (NIMASA) could partner with quality assurance companies such as Veritas, Lloyd’s, doing so directly or through local consultants to work as a team.
His words: “NIMASA can partner with them directly or through local consultants. If possible, get IMO involved, we have our Permanent Representative in London. He can help us get the people who would come and form up a technical committee and stay with them for like two years as Akinsoji said, and have our people understudy them.”
Speaking on the strategy by which the country could get a national shipping line, Effedua said that the maritime industry could take a cue from the aviation industry to get the needful done.
“For the Aviation Industry, they did not buy aircrafts, but they are flying because they turned to leasing.
“In our own case, we need to do same, lease vessels and give then national carrier status and colours.
“We just have to ensure that some laws are changed or redefined to give us priority over foreign vessels in carrying our own-made goods, because buyers need our products and it is not compulsory we use their vessels.
“That will solve so many problems for Nigeria; it will solve problems for those looking for seatime. We have the market; the Ministry of Trade and Commerce and Industry can be brought on board.
“We will find people, who buy goods, our internal businessmen who export Nigerian products out, and collaborate with them.
“Once there is market out there and there is need to transfer the goods from Nigeria to other countries, then every other thing is set. NLNG alone is not carrying everything, some other companies, NNPC used to lease them to come and do that job. So, our own ships can be patronized internally as well,” Effedua said.
Akinsoji had suggested that for enhancement of the National Certificate of Competency (CoC), Nigeria could through the IMO technical cooperation program, have a consultancy relationship with a well established Examination and Certification Administration of a member state of IMO such as UK, Canada, Australia or Singapore.
He noted that “Allowing this collaboration to midwife issuance of national certificate of competency for a period of two years may achieve the necessary recognition and respect for our certification system. It will unlock the gate to the seafaring and offshore engagement of our people in the global maritime trade.”
Akinsoji added that “Academy, being the national statutory body for the training of seafarers may wish to initiate the establishment of a national coordinating body between the training institutions, the examination/certification body(Federal Ministry of Transport/NIMASA) , the users(organized shipping companies, shipowners and offshore industry) and the representative of recognized employment agencies. If you like it may be named Nigeria National Training Commission or Board.”