Some maritime experts on Saturday urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to recruit unemployed seafarers into the maritime security outfit to create jobs and reduce despondency among cadets.
In an interview with source in Lagos, South-West Nigeria, the experts said the spate of sea robbery in the nation’s waters could be reduced through job creation for unemployed seafarers.
The mariners also commended NIMASA for a recent training it conducted in Lagos for security agencies meant to secure the Nigerian maritime domain against rising cases of criminality.
Mr Sampson Chima, Register, Nigerian Institute of Shipping, said that seafarers, otherwise known as the merchant navy, were the masters of the sea and should form the nucleus of the water security outfit that the agency was putting up for maritime security.
“These cadets of various maritime academy are well trained on the workings and nuances of water environment; with little security training, they can ensure security on the waters,” Chima said.
Mr Demola Akinkunmi, Offshore Manager of Africa Port Services Ltd., said that seafarers, through their training, would know the creeks, the inland waters and the sea front.
He added that they were well positioned to provide security on it:
“We have been having security issues on our waters; common sense ought to tell us to look for the solution on the side of this army of trained but unemployed seafarers.
“Somebody who is not schooled in sea operations cannot go and hijack vessel.”
According to him, the earlier the country implements this, the better for the shipping public.