Lagos – Former Chief of Naval staff, Rear Admiral Godwill Ombo (rtd), has called for the revival of the defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL).
Ombo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday that reviving the former national carrier would help grow the shipping industry and the training of sea cadets.
According to him, if revived, the defunct national carrier can ensure adequate manpower development for the future of Nigerian maritime industry.
“The totality of the maritime industry centres on shipping. If we do not have a national carrier, there is no way we can grow as a maritime nation.
“So, the transport minister must focus on bringing back our national carrier if he wants to grow the maritime industry.
“If we have our national carrier, we would also be able to make sure that the manpower that we are training in several institutions across the country and the world and that are gaining no sea experience, will have the opportunity to gain the sea experience.
“If we do not bring back our national carrier, there is no way we can guarantee that our youths that are coming into the maritime industry will have the requisite maritime experience to be able to do what they must do.
“They go through several maritime institutions, they come back home, but there are no ships for them to beef up practice and experience.
“And no country will give us their national carriers for our manpower to develop.
“As a maritime nation, we must bring back our shipping fleet. We must have our own national carriers.
“That should be the focus of the (new) minister of transport and a training ship for our cadets that are undergoing training in various institutions both at home and abroad.’’
Ombo, who is the Deputy Secretary-General of the Society of Nigerian Mariners (SNM), also called on the incoming minister to ensure that the transporter, MV HORTEN, abandoned on the marina waters, was put to productive use.
According to him, MV HORTEN can be used for the training of 135 sea cadets.
NAN reports that NNSL was liquidated in 1995. (NAN)