The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is set to certify Officers and Ratings of the Nigerian Navy in line with the requirements of Standards of Training Certification and Watch-Keeping (STCW).
This is contained in a statement by the Head, Corporate Communications Team, of NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka, on Sunday in Lagos.
According to the statement, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, made the disclosure when the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC), Rear Adm. Ifeola Mohammed, led a delegation to NIMASA.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-Keeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978 sets qualification standards for Masters, Officers and Watch personnel on sea-going merchant ships.
STCW was adopted in 1978 by a Conference at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London and entered into force in 1984.
Peterside said that training was pivotal to the development of an excellent officer.
He assured the FOC that the agency would immediately commence the process of certifying the Officers and Ratings of the Nigerian Navy, who had satisfied all the requirements.
According to him, training is the way to go in order to ensure professionalism in responding to marine incidences.
“If we must achieve our shared objective of securing our maritime sector, synergy is key and as the Regional Coordinator for Search and Rescue in West and Central Africa, we have to ensure that our training conforms to the needs of protecting our maritime space,’’ Peterside said.
The director-general said that the agency “welcomes the suggestion by NAVTRAC to train some of NIMASA’s personnel’’.
He assured the Navy of continuous collaboration for the overall growth and development of the Nigerian maritime industry.
In his remarks, Mohammed called on NIMASA as the Agency in charge of certification of seafarers to certify Officers and Ratings of the Nigerian Navy trained by NAVTRAC.
The Naval Chief said that this would develop them to become useful to the maritime industry, even after retirement from the Navy.
The FOC also mentioned areas of cooperation between NIMASA and the Flag Command, comprising training in search and rescue operations and Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).
He said that the Navy had dedicated ships and simulators, amongst other relevant training equipment, which NIMASA staff could take advantage of.
“We will need to synergise with NIMASA in some specific training such as Search and Rescue, Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and other relevant trainings,’’ NAN quotes Mohammed as saying.
The FOC said that this would prepare officers to be competent and rise to the challenges which could be encountered in the course of working at sea now and after retirement.
Mohammed agreed with Peterside that NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy operated in the same jurisdiction.
He noted that, “Therefore, there is the need for the two agencies to foster a closer working relationship and understanding for the benefit of securing the Nigerian maritime domain.’’ (NAN)