95% seafarers unemployed due to lack of support for indigenous ship owners — Jolapomo
A former President of Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria, ISAN, Isaac Jolapomo, has said that the only solution to reduce unemployment rate in the maritime industry is to get support and funding from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.
Speaking to Vanguard Maritime Report, Jolapomo said that this support will help Nigerian cadets to get maximum sea time training and equally save the country the cost of sending them to other countries for such training.
He also suggested that NIMASA, in her capacity, should channel the sea time training funds (the National Seafarers Development Fund) in the acquisition of more vessels in order to create more employment opportunities for the teeming young population in the maritime sector.
He said: “It is part of what we are talking about in building indigenous capacity because it is only the Nigerian shipping company that can employ or make available spaces for sea time for these cadets.
“This one we are spending money and taking them abroad, to Egypt, it is waste of money. That money we are paying, those hard currencies we are paying is enough to acquire some vessels to loan it to indigenous operators, who acquires these vessels and take these people on board and when they finish you also employ them because 95 percent of those graduates are idle.”
Jolapomo also called on NIMASA to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund, CVFF, to enable ship owners acquire vessels in order to increase maritime contributions to the gross domestic product, GDP, of the country.
He stated: “I don’t know when they are going to start disbursing this CVFF that will enable indigenous operators to acquire vessels and employ Nigerian seafarers because it is all those factors that will increase maritime industry contributions to GDP.”