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NIMASA high-powered delegation to meet protesting cadets in Philippines

Paul Ogbuokiri

The Management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) at the weekend disclosed that it will immediately dispatch a high-powered delegation to meet with the alleged Nigerian cadets seen in a viral video protesting at the Nigerian Embassy in Philippines.

The alleged protesting cadets said to be some of the beneficiaries of the 2013 batch of NIMASA’s National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), were said to be protesting nonpayment of their allowances by the NIMASA, which made it impossible for them to renew their house rents, procure their visas and other expenses.

However the agency in a statement on Saturday titled: ‘Re: Protest by NIMASA NSDP 2013 Cadets at Nigerian Embassy in the Philippines’, assured that it has received a ministerial approval for an assessment visit to the Philippines this October to ascertain, first-hand the issues to address it.

The statement reads in part: “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 statement concluded.

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