Seafarers, represented by the Maritime Professional Forum (MARPRO), have criticized the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), a training initiative by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) that sends cadets abroad. The president of MARPRO, Segun Akanbi, expressed concerns that the NSDP program, which issues licenses similar to those issued by NIMASA, suggests that the agency does not fully accept its own certificates. Akanbi called for a review of the NSDP, emphasizing that despite substantial investment, the program has not yielded the expected results and has created challenges for self-sponsored cadets within the country.
Initiated in 2008, the NSDP aimed to train Nigerian youths in marine engineering, nautical sciences, and naval architecture at reputable maritime training institutions abroad. However, critics argue that the program should be redefined to address the broader needs of seafarers beyond freshers and accommodate all cadres in the maritime industry.