Akinsoji’s thoughts:  How Nigeria-trained seafarers can get better job opportunities in global maritime trade

I deeply congratulate the Minister, the Rector, his management for this achievement (newly-acquired Helicopter Underwater Escape Simulator) and the progressive consistency. I say ‘Ahoy’ to them all.

I also wish them ‘Fair winds’ towards the ultimate sustainable human capacity development of our maritime capacity development.

At this junction and for the fullness of my joy and in the interest of the public/nation I wish to suggest a two-step action for the consideration of the Rector and his progressive team:


  1. A strong ministerial collaboration of the Academy with NIMASA for the enhancement/ revitalization of the National Certificate of Competency of seafarers (ocean going and near coastal voyages) through the IMO technical cooperation program. It may involve consultancy relationship with a well established Examination and Certification Administration of a member state of IMO such as UK, Canada, Australia or Singapore. Allowing this collaboration to midwife issuance of national certificate of competency for a period of two years may achieve the necessary recognition and respect for our certification system. It will unlock the gate to the seafaring and offshore engagement of our people in the global maritime trade.


  1. Academy, being the national statutory body for the training of seafarers may wish to initiate the establishment of a national coordinating body between the training institutions, the examination/certification body(Federal Ministry of Transport/NIMASA) , the users(organized shipping companies, shipowners and offshore industry) and the representative of recognized employment agencies. If you like it may be named Nigeria National Training Commission or Board.

The functions of the body will be guided by the terms of reference which cannot be handled in this brief suggestion. This is a gap that ought to be bridged.

Finally, considering the progress and extent of facilities at the Academy, one would wish to contribute no matter how little. This is my humble contribution for the consideration of the authorities with my best regards.

Olu Akinsoji, is a Marine Engineer and Pioneer Alternate Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), London. He was Director General, Government Inspector of Ships.

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