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sábado, 25 de septiembre de 2010

IMO earmarks N375m to equip African maritime institutions

Source: 234next

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) says it has set aside 2.5 million dollars about N375 million to equip maritime training institutions in Africa.

Juvenal Shiundu, the Deputy Director/Head of Programme Management Section, Technical Cooperation Division of IMO who made the disclosure said it was the high-point of maritime activities this week.
Mr. Shiundu said in Lagos on the occasion of the World Maritime Day that the fund was to address the deficiency in maritime training, ``bearing in mind that 2010 is the year of the seafarer''.
He said the IMO placed a lot emphasis on capacity building through training and support to regional and national maritime training institutions.
According to him, the orgnisation is aware that many of the maritime training institutions in developing countries in Africa, South East Asia, the Pacific and the Central American regions are ill-equipped.
``If Africa is to benefit from the opportunities presented by the envisaged worldwide shortage of seafarers, then the first prerequisite is to develop and build capacities of maritime training institutions in line with global standards.
"There are 13 maritime training centres in Africa, providing training for most of the seafarers in the shipping industry.
``For many years, one of the major identified problems has been the shortage of sea-time training vessels for cadets attending maritime academies in developing countries'', the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Mr. Shiundu as saying.
He explained that more than 90 per cent of international world trade was carried by ships, adding that the ships were manned and operated by seafarers.
``However, the supply of seafarers in sufficient numbers continues to cause concern,'' the IMO chief said.

The Secretary-General of IMO, Efthimios Mitropoulos, described seafarers as the lubricant without which the engine of trade would simply grind to a halt.
Mitropoulos said the theme of this year's World Maritime Day, ``Year of The Seafarer'' was chosen to reassure seafarers.
Mr. Mitropoulos suggested that governments, shipping organisations, operators, managers of shipping firms should set aside June 25 each year as the Day of Seafarers.
He urged journalists to seek both sides of a story before reporting on an accident involving a ship.
The Minister of Transport, Yusuf Suleiman, said the issue of piracy and armed robbery on the high sea were major problems that had continued to confront seafarers.

Mr. Suleiman said government would leave no stone unturned in its efforts to ensure that adequate security was provided on the nation's territorial waters.
He said the government would do this through the introduction of policies and programmes such as the integrated maritime security, long range cargo identification and tracking system, among others.
The Minister said that in spite the challenges, government had continued to put in place appropriate structures that would continue to encourage young people to pursue careers at sea.

Suleiman said efforts were on to make Nigerian universities to offer degree courses in maritime studies, adding that government was also exploring possibility of establishing additional maritime training institutions.

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