By Suoyo Ekubo
The Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Major General Barry Ndiomu (rtd), has implored the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for a workable and sustained partnership towards creating opportunities for youths in the Niger Delta region.
Ndiomu who made the request on Tuesday in Lagos when he visited the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh at the Maritime House, Apapa, called for more assistance and cooperation from international stakeholders.
He commended the DG and his team for redefining the safety and security of Nigeria’s maritime industry.
He said “I’m aware of your outstanding achievements, particularly in the obvious reduction of piracy on the Gulf of Guinea,” Ndiomu said.
“my vision is to chart a new path for the Amnesty Programme by upholding the principal objectives of government.”
“As well as bringing innovative ideas, setting a new management structure of wealth creation for the teeming youths, instead of depending on monthly stipends, to pave way for a more prosperous future.”
Ndiomu noted that in the maritime domain, the PAP has trained a large number of youths across institutions in the world in various specializations, some of which include deep sea diving, underwater welding, marine engineering and many more professional training.
He regretted that after these trainings, many of them remain unemployed.
The PAP boss further sought the possibility of the establishment of a Coordinating Secretariat between PAP and NIMASA to drive further conversations.
“We are looking at technical support from NIMASA, job placement opportunities in NIMASA for our qualified delegates,” he added.
In his response, Dr. Jamoh stated that the maritime industry in Nigeria is large enough to sustainably engage the teeming youths, noting that there are enormous opportunities in the industry that youths can take advantage of to generate foreign earnings.
The DG stated that the meeting between both agencies is apt and remains a wakeup call on the need to collaborate efforts, as both agencies are closely related.
He recalled that in 2021 when he visited the Amnesty Office in Abuja, there was an agreement to form a Joint Board Meeting to drive more conversations for collaboration.
He equally noted that this is a critical time for NIMASA and PAP to have a robust relationship, adding that “the international community is already commending Nigeria for the successes recorded in addressing maritime insecurity in the country”.
“Both the Nigerian government and international committee are watching to see if the tempo can be sustained,” he said.
Jamoh thus suggested that to sustain the current tempo, it is important to fully empower and reintegrate beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme into the society.
He informed that NIMASA has trained over 4,000 Nigerians internationally under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme, majority of whom are from the Niger Delta region.