By Aisha Cole
Lagos – A maritime expert, Chief Kunle Folarin, has advised the Management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to sign agreements with shipping companies on sea time training of cadets.
Folarin, who is the also the Chairman, National Seafarers Welfare Board, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
“Shipping companies have their schedule of employment and no one can compel them to engage the cadets on sea time training.
“The management of NIMASA should sign an agreement with the shipping companies before the commencement of the training of the cadets.
“Before the cadets start schooling, NIMASA should sign agreements with a substantial number of shipping owners.
“That in one year, NIMASA will send certain number of cadets to the shipping companies so that they can prepare for training of the cadets,’` Folarin, who is also the Chairman, Port Consultative Council (PCC) said.
He urged the management of NIMASA to start talking with the shipping companies before the cadets complete their courses.
According to him, this will enable the shipping companies to accommodate Nigerian cadets.
NAN reports that NIMASA is into partnership with the South Shield Marine School at the South Tyneside College, South Shield, Newcastle, UK, on sea time training.
The partnership will provide sea time opportunities for about 400 cadets of the NIMASA-sponsored Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) numbering over 2,500 cadets.
NAN reports that sea time training is a mandatory requirement to go on board a ship for a period of one year or more on ocean-going vessels before the cadets are qualified for the award of a maritime degree.