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Why Nigeria’s maritime sector still perform poorly, by stakeholders

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Stakeholders in the maritime sector have cited lack of foresight, as one of the factors hindering the industry potential, while urging the Federal Government to be more committed to its development of the sector.

The stakeholders, who spoke at a youth sensitisation programme, tagged: ‘Go to Sea Campaign’, organised by Young Ship Nigeria, in Lagos, said Government’s myopic thinking has forestalled growth in the industry.

The Chief Executive Officer, Vow Ventures, Olaitan Williams, said the level of youth exposure to the maritime sector is limited, due to government’s inadequate knowledge of maritime potential.

Williams, who is also a member of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, said: “While some visionary leaders are creating young minds in the maritime industry, Nigeria is yet to awake from its sleep. The country is busy with mundane classroom ethics when the world is moving in the entrepreneur direction. You will discover that the Philippines, Japan, and China introduce their citizen to shipping at a very young age, and that is why they are dominating the industry today.

“There is limited exposure of our young ones to shipping due to non-inclusion of maritime courses in the educational curriculum. Many of our seafarers are yet to have sea time training due to lack of vessels when the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) is there, which the government should disburse to aid the training of our seafarers. How then can we compete with the world?”

She said there is a need for more participation of industry regulators including, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NPC), to champion awareness on the sector potential.

“Stakeholders must be involved by harnessing the vast potential in the maritime industry. We must demystify the idea that only the developed economies should play a role in the global maritime industry; local players must be encouraged to invest in the future of the industry by partnering institutions promoting the industry,” she said.The National Chairman, Young Ship Nigeria, Usman Shuiab, described the Nigeria’s maritime sector as an incubator for economic revolution and sustainability on the continent.He said the “Go to Sea Campaign 2018” with the theme, ‘The Sea and I’, is specifically targeted at secondary school students who are yet to take binding decision on their career path.

“We aim to expose these assets to lucrative and high value careers in the maritime industry, laying emphasis on those skills that are short in supply in Nigeria Maritime sector with a view to preparing them for responsibilities in the future.“In addition to career perspectives, the programme also congregates industry experts to discuss on career at sea, and its capacity to employ an average of two million Nigerian youth annually,” he said.

The Chairman, Zoe Maritime Resources Limited, Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore, urged government to support the young ones, who desire to have a career in the maritime industry.
While speaking on the importance of starting young, she urged the young scholars present at the event to identity their purpose and work towards it.“Identify the sector where your talents can be used in the maritime industry, and start working towards it today. You must have a passion to learn, have a mentor that will mentor you, and teach you some of the things you don’t understand in the maritime industry,” she said.


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