Dakuku to ship owners: Give preference to Nigerian seafarers

Posted by News Express | 1 July 2017 | 1,356 times

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The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has asked Nigerian ship owners to entrust the management of their ship to Nigerian seafarers.

While commemorating this year’s ‘Day of the Seafarers’ with the theme ‘Seafarers Matter’, Dakuku also assured the seafarers that their welfare is critical to the growth of the sector, hence the agency would do all within its means to implement all the conventions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and International Labour Organisation as they related to the welfare of the seafarers.

During the celebration in Onne, Rivers State, the DG said that the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC) comprising tripartite stakeholders have reconvened to fashion out a decent wage and improved working and living conditions for the seafarers in line with the provisions of applicable Conventions and comparable to what is obtainable internationally.

“It is therefore expected that once the collective bargaining agreement is signed, ship-owners will commence its full implementation,” Peterside said.

The DG reiterated the Agency’s commitment in engaging ship owners and seafarer employers on the need to provide gainful employment to qualified Nigerian seafarers whom he said are very important. He called on ship owners to give some level of preference to the seafarers especially in the Cabotage trade as against the practice of engaging foreign seafarers.

“As Nigerians and maritime operators we should be proud of our seafarers and also encourage them to develop their careers/competences like their foreign counterparts.”

The NIMASA DG also used the opportunity to inform stakeholders that the Agency is leaving no stone unturned to ensure full implementation of the Cabotage Act for the benefit of Nigerians.

Accordingly, he said that “Cabotage Act is undergoing review and it is the Agency’s position that the review will take care of all the grey areas in the application, processing and granting of waiver to the extent it should be seen to give some level of advantage to Nigerian seafarers especially in the areas of employment and specialised training.”

While assuring the seafarers of the Agency’s continuous support, the DG stated that NIMASA would continue to give priority to capacity building initiatives in order to actualise its vision of making NIMASA a world class organisation in line with global best practices.

This, according to him, has also led the Agency to develop a multi-strategy approach to encouraging young school leavers to take a career at sea through the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).

The NSDP initiative of the Agency, which was conceived in 2008 in order to bridge the gap observed in the death of seafarers in the country, has so far facilitated the training of 2,259 young Nigerians in various fields of maritime studies in reputable maritime institutions in the United Kingdom, Egypt, Romania, India and the Philippines.

From this number, NIMASA said that 943 cadets will soon be placed on board ocean going vessels for their mandatory sea time with institutions in Egypt, United Kingdom and Turkey.

Last March, the Agency also facilitated the training of 428 seafarers on mandatory courses and other specific areas of specialisation for career progression. These included STCW, Oil Tanker familiarisation (OTF), Efficient Deck Hand (EDH), ISPS awareness training and specialised training on Dynamic Positioning (DP).

IMO has set aside June 25 every year to commemorate seafarers worldwide.

•Photo shows Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, and some Management Staff of NIMASA, with seafarers at the celebration of the Day of Seafarers in Onne, Rivers State recently

Source: News Express

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