Nigerian maritime workers, serving and retired, yesterday gave their full support to President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 national elections.
They praised Jonathan's achievements in the maritime industry, saying that they have had positive effects on human capital and material resources in the sector.
The Maritime Watchdog of Nigeria (MWN) revealed that they want Jonathan to continue and do more for the sector.
MWN's legal adviser and general secretary, Mac-Johnson Odey, said that the decision to include programmes on the development of Nigerian seafarers; capacity development; and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Shipyard and Dockyard Satellite surveillance centre, was beneficial to the group.
They also noted that the administration is presently building a shipyard for ship maintenance in Delta state.
He said: “The government’s dogged war against piracy led to the establishment of satellite surveillance centre to fight piracy, oil theft and smuggling within our water ways and other maritime crimes within our territorial waters.
“These crimes have today been drastically reduced through the presence and operations of the satellite surveillance centre in NIMASA.
“With the current level and effort of capacity building, infrastructure development and drive for improved performance, give hope for Nigeria as a future maritime nation of note.”
They also praised the effort by the government to sponsor over 2,500 youths from the six geo-political zones of the country under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programmes (NSAP), to achieve their dreams of becoming seafarers.
Odey said: “The Federal Government is solely responsible for the sponsorship of over 70 percent of this number.
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“The NSDP scheme currently has students in the following institutions: Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Alexandria, Egypt; Amet University, Chennai, India; University of Perpetual Help Dalta, Philippines; University of Cebu, Philippines.
“Others are South Tyneside College, Newcastle, UK; John Moores University of Conseanta, Romania.
“Seventeen cadets have graduated from the John Moores University Liverpool with B.Sc in Nautical Sciences and have concluded sea time training.”
“Eleven cadets have graduated from the South Tyneside College Newcastle with B.Sc Marine Engineering.
“So far, 17 states have keyed into the programme. North-East— Borno, Yobe and Gombe; North-West— Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina; North Central— Benue, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, FCT; South-East— Ebonyi; South-South— Akwa Ibom, and South-West— Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo.”
The federal government had awarded Tompolo's Global West Vessels Specialists Limited (GWVSL), a multi-million dollar contract to acquire anti-piracy platforms to use on Nigerian waterways so as to stop oil theft in the nation.