The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA has stated that Nigeria will be able to provide about 50 per cent of seafarers needed in Africa by 2020.
This revelation is coming as the global maritime watchdog, the International Maritime Organization, IMO, stated that seafarers are in high demand across the globe.
The demand is due to the widening gap in the current age of seafarers and the upcoming ones worldwide.
To this end, the Director of Administration and Personnel, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Felix Bobnabena, who spoke in Lagos, said, the maritime industry has immense potential that Nigerian youths can take advantage of this need, citing the nation’s 853 kilometres coastline.
He said: “We are looking at a population of about 170 (million), which comprises teeming youths who have a lot of potential within the context of the maritime industry.
“So, we believe that if we put these two things together – maritime potential, our teeming youths and of course the hospitable nature of Nigerians as a people, they would be able to excel very much in the maritime profession.”
He further explained that it was not a mistake that the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) being implemented by NIMASA had chosen three universities in the Philippines to engage some Nigerian youths on seafarers’ training programme.
Thousands of Nigerians are currently undergoing training in maritime courses in selected maritime training institutions in the United Kingdom, the Philippines, India and Egypt.
The courses include Naval architecture, Marine engineering, Maritime Transportation and Nautical science.