NIMASA Monitoring Protest By NSDP 2013 Cadets In Philippines
Fred Omotara, Lagos
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said that it is monitoring the protest at the Nigerian Embassy by seafarers under the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) 2013 set.
Recall that video footage of the NSDP seafarers protesting at the Nigerian Embassy went viral on Thursday, with the Nigerian Embassy in the Philippines barring the cadets from gaining access to the embassy.
NIMASA, in a statement on Saturday titled Re: Protest By NIMASA NSDP 2013 Cadets At Nigerian Embassy In The Philippines, stated that the delegation will be led by the agency’s Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Engr. Victor Ochei.
According to the NIMASA statement, “We wish to let the public know that we are monitoring the unfortunate development in the Philippines involving NIMASA NSDP 2013 cadets, as seen in a recent online video. And to assure Nigerians that NIMASA has received Ministerial approval for an assessment visit this October to ascertain, first-hand, the issues to fully and finally address them.
“Our Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Engr. Victor Ochei, will lead the fact-finding mission to the Philippines to engage with the school and the cadets.
“As responsible management, we must deal with this from an informed position, as the matter far predates this administration.
“While we regret the embarrassment this may have caused all concerned; we urge caution and avoidance of any speculative reporting until the official outcome of the on-the-spot evaluation to the Philippines is submitted.”
The trending video showed the protesting cadets calling on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government of Nigeria to come to their rescue.
One of the cadet in the trending video, who took pain to narrative their ordeal in the Philippines said, “We were sent to the Philippines to study Marine Engineer and Maritime Transportation under the Nigeria Seafarers Development Programme for four years but it is ten years down the line.
“I have wasted ten years of my life here and same goes to my colleagues.”