Nigeria Still Lacks Strategic Maritime Policy, Say Master Mariners

PIX: Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, (NAMM) president, Captain Joseph Awodeha

Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, (NAMM) president, Captain Joseph Awodeha


Worried by the overlapping functions of the various maritime agencies in the country, the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, (NAMM), has there is no strategic approach to harnessing the coutry's maritime potentials.

Speaking at its quarterly meeting in Lagos, the association’s president, Captain Joseph Awodeha, said the absence of a strategic maritime policy has not only led to under-development of the maritime industry, but has denied Nigeria international partnership.

He noted that the lack of strategic policy has led to all sorts of unwholesome practices and confusion which only benefit some people. Awodeha also called on the government to commence a strategic training programme for practitioners in the maritime industry as a succession plan for the ageing professionals.

He was particular about the Nigerian cadets that are currently undergoing training in various maritime academies around the world. The retired ship master lamented the transfer of theoretical knowledge without the opportunity of having the practical aspect of the training.

“There is no point in sending cadets abroad for training and at the end of the training, the cadets do not have the practical experience to carry out the job they have been trained in. There are so many cadets that have been trained abroad but they cannot perform their duties as marine officers- or engineers because of the absence of practical knowledge.

"So they have come in with academic qualification but no professional competence. In other words, until we provide the platform for them to effectively deploy their skills, we have not spent monies well on the training of the cadets, they are half baked, they are not complete officers yet.”