...As Sunday Avoseh Emerges President Seamen/NIWA Water Transport Workers Branch
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has commend the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency for the recent launching of the Integrated National Security and Water Ways Protection Infrastructure Project – Deep Blue Project to fruition.
President General of the union, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju said this while speaking on Wednesday at the 5th Quandriennal Delegates Conference 2021 of the Seamen/NIWA,Water Transport Branch in Lagos.
Comrade Adeyanju said the Union appreciate the honourable minister of transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi and the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Baahir Jamoh for making the project fruitful.
He said the Union appreciate the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) for extending collaboration to them on the ongoing maritime Affiliate Support (MAS) project in Nigeria which seeks to increase the number of existing seafarers, build maritime institutions training capacity and certification in Nigeria in line with global best practice and standard.
He however advocates the revamping of Seafarers Pool system in furtherance to boost manpower development and job creation for seamen in Nigeria.
The union leader also called on the NIMASA to reduce the high cost of obtaining discharge certificates and provide the necessary Seafarers Identity Documents (SID) for workers.
The Seafarers’ Identity Documents(SID) Convention, 1958 is an International Labour Organization Convention.
Comrade Adeyanju also dwell on the need for the federal government to revamp the Nigerian National Shipping Lines (NNSL) , he pointed out that a large number of able seamen would be engaged onboard her national pride if revived.
He called on NIMASA to seat up and bring Nigerian seafarers to parity with their foreign counterparts lamenting that the alarming rates of foreign dominance in the nation’s territorial waters was worrisome.
He maintained that lack of Seafarers Pool, high cost of acquiring medical certificate and non enforcement of the cabotage act are the major problems currently faced by Nigerian seamen.
He maintained that the foremost national training academy; the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, Akwa Ibom state needs all the necessary support to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.
According to him, funding and upgrading of training facilities at the MAN Oron, to global standard should be given utmost priority to bridge the yearning gap in manpower development.
“We call on NIMASA as the government regulator agent of seafarers to seat up and do the needful to bring Nigerian seafarers to parity with their counterparts elsewhere in the world.
“We also call for the re-awakening of the Seafarers Pool system which is overdue. It is important to also call on a lowering of the high cost of obtaining discharge certificates.”
Meanwhile, Comrade Sunday Avoseh was elected, President, Seamen/NIWA Water Transport Workers Branch of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria.
Sunday Avoseh who is a former District Chairman in Lagos is to run the affairs of the branch for four years.
Avoseh took over from Comrade Francis Bunu, who has been elected as Deputy President General of the union.
Speaking to news men shortly after his swearing in ceremony, Avoshe expressed dissatisfaction over lack of proper regulations on manning agents by the designated authorities in Nigeria.
He said the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has failed to provide a comprehensive database of authentic manning agents in the country, of which he said the authority should find a lasting solution to the compilation of registered recruitment organisations for seafarers.
He also urge the regulatory agency to look inward towards reducing the cost of discharge books for seafarers.
He stressed the need for NIMASA inspectors to ensure that the Collective Bargaining Agreement should confirm with Maritime Labour Convention MLC 2006, while onboard ships in line with the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC)
He assured that the union would collaborate with NIMASA and ship owners as part of efforts to ensure that the tripartite agreement achieve its purposes.
According to him, the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN),Oron in Akwa Ibom state should be upgraded to compete favourably with foreign training institutions .
Speaking further on training of seamen in the country, he pointed out that private maritime institutions should be given all necessary support for training of seafarers pointing out that MAN Oron cannot be the only training institution of seafarers in the country.
In his words “NIMASA needs to invest more in MAN Oron and take that school to the level where the certificate will be accepted anywhere in the world.
“And like we use to say in other fora, if NIMASA should improve the standard of MAN Oron, any country that will not accept the certificate of Nigerian seafarers through bilateral relationship we also should not accept their certification.
“It is also very urgent for NIMASA to do something about the wastage of foreign currency by seafarers going overseas to obtain certificate because their is nothing they are going to get outside those countries that we cannot be able to give them in Nigeria , thus these things NIMASA needs to give priority” Avoshe affirmed.