17th June, 2011
Former President of the Nigeria Trawler Owners Association (NITOA), Mrs Margaret Orakwusi, has lamented that there are no more able seamen with the requisite knowledge to man the nation’s vessels.
Orakwusi stated recently at the Womenâ€™s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria quarterly lecture, noting that Nigerian seafarers brandish different certificates without practical experience.
The former NITOA boss also lamented that a number of fishing companies have folded up or relocated from Nigeria to neighbouring countries due to the rising cost of operations, especially those caused by the nefarious activities of pirates on the nation’s waters.
Orakwusi added that though Nigeria has a very attractive market, fishing companies still lose revenue which sends most of them out of the business. She said out of the 35 fishing companies operating in Nigeria in 2004, less than ten are still in existence.
She charged the government to encourage existing fishing companies by giving them loans at subsidized interest rates and other incentives that will enable them ply the nation’s waters productively.