NIMASA assures Nigerian cadets on sea time training
From left: Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Mr. Gambo Ahmed, Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, General Manager, INTELS Nigeria Limited Mr. Silvano Bellinato, Assistant General Manager INTELS Mr. Chibuisi Oyebuike, and Deputy Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Nigeria Shippers’ Council Mr. Chukwuemeka Agu, at the celebration of the 2017 edition of the Day of the Seafarer in Onne, Port Harcourt Rivers State recently.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA has said it would leave no stone unturned in ensuring the wellbeing and welfare of the seafarers, which it insists is crucial to the growth of the maritime industry. Director General of the agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside gave this assurance this year’s Day of the Seafarers with the theme:: ‘Seafarers Matter’, held at Onne Ports Complex, Rivers State.
The International Maritime Organisation IMO has set aside June 25th every year to commemorate and appreciate the seafarers worldwide for their contribution to the growth and development of the shipping business.
He said that the agency will do all within its powers to implement all instruments of the IMO and International Labour Organisation ILO, regarding the welfare of the seafarers.
According to him, the National Joint Industrial Council NJIC comprising the tripartite stakeholders, has reconvened to fashion out a decent wage and improved working and living conditions for the seafarers in line with the provisions of the relevant conventions of the IMO and ILO, 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”, he stated.
The DG who further 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, called on ship owners to give some level of preference to the seafarers especially in the Coastal and Inland Shipping Cabotage trade as against the practice of engaging foreign seafarers.
The DG also stated that NIMASA will 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.
He also assured stakeholders that the agency would ensure strict implementation of the Cabotage Act in order to achieve the desired objection for enacting the legislation.
“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 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.”
Recall that 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.
Among these figures, a total number of 943 cadets of the NSDP will soon be placed onboard ocean going vessels for their mandatory sea time, as facilitated by NIMASA with institutions in Egypt, United Kingdom and Turkey.
In March this year, the Agency also facilitated the training of 428 Seafarers on mandatory courses and other specific areas of specialization for career progression. These include STCW, Oil Tanker familiarization (OTF), Efficient Deck Hand (EDH), ISPS awareness training and specialized training on Dynamic Positioning DP.