Effective Promotion Of Marine And Blue Economy Will Impact Maritime Workers- Chief Nwagbara

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Chief Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara LL.M, a Maritime legal practitioner  of great repute has disclosed that effective promotion of marine and blue economy will have a positive impact on Maritime Workers.

Noting that Marine and Blue economy advocates the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and creation of jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem and green shipping.

Chief Nwagbara said this on Wednesday at the Rock View Hotel Apapa during the official launch of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria maiden edition of MWUN quarterly magazine “The Maritime Labour Voice“

Nwagbara who was speaking on a paper titled “Marine And Blue Economy: It’s Impact On Maritime Workers” , hinted that maritime workers are key stakeholder in achieving balance in sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, hence their welfare must enjoy priority attention by all concerned, in the plans and programmes towards a functional Marine and Blue Economy.

He stated that the establishment of Ministry of Marine and Blue economy is a welcome development in the history of Nigeria and the ministry is charged with enormous responsibility with respect to the activities in Nigeria maritime ecosystem

Speaking on the role of the ministry, Nwagbara said “The Minister must ensure a working synergy among the Parastatals under his supervision and also ensure working synergy between the Parastatals under his Ministry and those under the supervision of other Ministries wherever such synergy would promote and drive the Marine and Blue economy and other sectors of the Nigerian economy

On how the Maritime Workers fit into the scheme of Marine and Blue Economy , Nwagbara said “Seafarers, dock workers and all other maritime employees are significant force in facilitating ocean trade across borders and within coastal waters.

“The maritime workers most especially seafarers are the engine room, the hands and eye with which the vessel owners operate their vessels at sea.

“The maritime workers are the field soldiers that steer the vessel in line with blue economy agenda advocated in the various multilateral treaties super intended by the various international organizations such as the International Maritime Organisation, World Health Organisation, International Labour Organisation and others”

He stressed that a functional Marine and Blue economy must ensure proper training and education of the seafarers, dock workers and other maritime employees as part of professional development with proper remuneration, welfare, health and safety of maritime workers in line with international treaties.

He hinted that adequate training and certification of maritime industry employees will not only meet the Nigerian maritime industry manpower needs, but will also lead to export of maritime industry manpower to other parts of the global community.

In his word”There is urgent need for the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy to establish Overseas Maritime Employees Department [OMED] within the Ministry to cater for the training/certification needs and exportation of maritime industry manpower from Nigeria to other parts of the world, similar to what obtains in the Philippines.

” This will have the effect of not only generating employment for Nigeria`s teeming unemployed youth, but will also generate scarce foreign exchange and in addition promote the status of Nigeria among maritime nations”

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