By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Nigerian Embassy in Manila, Philippines has slammed Batch 2 cadets under the National Seafarer Development Program (NSDP) for showing complete disregard for the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on whose sponsorship they were in the Philippines to study.
The NSDP program is the brainchild of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as an intervention program to train and ensure the supply of qualified seafarers to Nigeria.
DAILY TREND recalls that in August 2022, the cadets of lot 2 complained of negligence and non-payment of their allowances by the NIMASA authority, making it impossible for them to renew their house rents, to obtain their visas and other expenses.
Cadets number about 117.
The protest comes just two months after NIMASA Director General Dr. Bashir Jamoh approved an additional $2,000 for each cadet as an additional fund due to inflation.
In a press release issued Thursday by the Nigerian Embassy, a copy of which our correspondent obtained, it is stated that the cadets were protesting against NIMASA and trying to air their grievances and demands.
However, they failed to conduct themselves properly and acted with complete disrespect to the country.
The statement reads in part “The Nigerian Embassy in Manila wishes to reference the allegations against the Embassy making the rounds through social media videos posted by disgruntled NIMASA cadets on October 5, 2022, where they accused the embassy of denying them access to the building to protest their grievances against NIMASA.
“The Embassy would like to inform that the said cadets had no appointment scheduled with the Embassy on the sad date which is against the rules of estate management in the Philippines.
“As such, the Domaine/Barangay reserves the right to prohibit people from entering the premises without an appointment.
“Secondly, the cadets did not submit any formal notification of protest to the Philippine authorities before embarking on the protest. This explains why there were many police officers present at the scene where the unruly cadets were disturbing the peace of the area residents and impeded the movement of vehicles.
“It is pertinent to mention that the embassy officials went to meet the defiant cadets at the entrance to the estate to listen to their complaints which were uttered in a very insulting and degrading manner with no regard for the government of the Federal Republic of the Nigeria on whose sponsorship they were in the Philippines in the first place.
“Please note that all cadet complaints have since been forwarded to the appropriate NIMASA authorities and the Embassy is awaiting further guidance in this regard,” it says.
According to them, they are supposed to complete the course within four years, but it is now 10 years because there have been several delays and arbitrary extension of some of their exams.
NIMASA had announced in August 2022 that it was currently reviewing the cost of direct sponsorship of Nigerian cadets undergoing NSDP overseas training.
NIMASA Chief Executive Dr. Bashir Jamoh noted that the ongoing sponsorship cost review has become necessary due to global inflationary trends which are very pronounced in the Philippines, India and some other countries where Nigerian cadets undergo a Certificate of Competence (CoC) Examination Training under the NSDP program. The sponsorship relates to training leading to the obtaining of a Certificate of Competence, CoC.