Former Minister of Interior and Chief Executive Officer of Genesis Worldwide Shipping, Emmanuel Ihenacho, has said that local ship acquisition as well as onboarding major shipping lines calling at nation's ports are the solution to sea time training for the nation's cadets.
Speaking with Vanguard Maritime Report in Lagos, Ihenacho said that ships can be acquired for local operators with proven expertise who will be mandated to take on board cadets for training.
While noting that he onboarded the cadets on five ships all crewed by Nigerians at the height of his career, he explained that in the long run, such measure will be cheaper and more profitable for the country.
In the alternative, according to him, modern vessels can be acquired and placed on the fleet of the big shipping lines doing business in the country, with such vessels crewed by Nigerians, but must adhere to the standard of the international ocean liners.
He pointed out that what is needed is a professional with the right persuasive skills to negotiate with the ocean liners.
According to him, "The only place that you acquire sea time is on the ocean going vessels. So if you don't buy it for people like me, I don't know who you are going to buy it for".
On putting Nigerian vessels on major liners he said, "You must form an alliance, it is very easy for you to influence through the government those who are benefitting from the Nigerian trade. There are lots of big container vessels, you make them do it but someone has to sit them down and talk to them like that because it is very easy for you to take decisions that could even inconvenience them without threatening them."