Nigeria, maritime nation without a ship – Dr Ovie Edomi

Dr Ovie Edomi making his presentation

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Nigeria, maritime nation without a ship – Dr Ovie Edomi

Lauds NIMASA’s effort in fighting piracy

Nigeria has been described as a maritime nation without a ship.

Dr Ovie Edomi, a Resource Person, who presented a paper on ‘Marine Economy and Harnessing The Nation’s potential’, made this known at the on-going training for Journalists in Lagos, organised by Chevron in collaboration with Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council.

Dr Edomi, who made a brilliant presentation at the programme, stated emphatically that it is sad after 63 years of independence, Nigeria as a maritime nation has no national shipping line.

His assertions : “Today, we don’t have a single vessel. Why are we a maritime nation ? Dr Edomi asked, expressing his displeasure about the inability of Nigeria to harness enormous resources abound in the maritime sector of the economy.

Dr Ovie Edomi making his presentation

He went on : “Aside a national carrier, we need vessels for training of Cadets going go Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN). This is very important because the seafarers need sea experience to get the Certificate of Competence (CoC).

“The training standard of any maritime nation determines how the nation is rated by International Maritime Organisation (IMO), coupled with compliance by other maritime regulations.”

Dr Edomi continued : “Nigeria as a country should develop a programme under the marine and blue economy to engage the nation’s seafarers in sea time experience, just like the Nigerian Seafarers Development programme (NSDP), under the supervision of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

“This is vital because the Certificate of Competence issued by NIMASA is in accordance with STCW and hence recognised globally.

“This will enable Nigerians with CoC to get jobs easily on board international trading vessels”.

He pointed out, “Over 63 years of our independence means nothing, if we cannot harness our resources and develop our human capital capacity.

“Who says we can’t export prawns, crayfish and other ornamental sea foods to other countries and earn more foreign exchange from such resources from the water?

“Who says we can’t export palm oil, cocoa, timber and earn enormous foreign exchange? Nigeria has so much potential in food and cash crops. If only our marine and blue economy ministry can collaborate with others to harness these potentials, it will profit our country and the citizens.”

Speaking further, Dr Edomi commended the efforts by NIMASA and Navy in tackling criminal activities and piracy on the waterways.

He also commended the measures put in place by NIMASA to ensure safety in the maritime domain.

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