The Merchant Navy Directorate has alleged that the Nigerian Merchant Shipping Act, known as the Cabotage Law is being frustrated by marketers and politicians to get allocated oil blocks without the required expertise or equipment.
The directorate urged the Federal Government to stop allocation of oil blocks to marketers who have no ships and expertise, thereby wasting away the nation’s resources and opportunities.
Speaking with our correspondent, a top official of the directorate, Eng James Falabi lamented that most of the beneficiaries of oil blocks in Nigeria do not have ships or equipment of their own, and that they most time get foreigners to do the job, thereby frustrating the Cabotage law in Nigeria.
Also speaking in line with the 2019 Seafarers Day celebration held last week, Eng Falabi said that the female seafarers have not been fairly treated over the years. He warned that until men stop seeing female seafarers as pleasure units onboard ships, there can never be gender equality in the profession.
Speaking on the oil blocks, Falabi said “The oil blocks are allocated to individuals, this made the beneficiaries to get foreign partners without the nation’s interest in view”
“Non of this oil blocks operator has a ship of their own, or Nigeria registered equipment. A maritime nation without its own national fleet is in deep economic crisis”
“Seafarers in general have not been fairly treated by our government. The government failed to provide infrastructure and Nigeria loss it’s place among the maritime nation”
“My prayers are that the authority should activate indigenous ship building, and displace this parasites plaguing are Cabotage trade” he said
Speaking further on the dearth of shipping line and available jobs in Nigeria, Eng Falabi advised that if any female seafarers wants to succeed in their profession, they should look outside the shore of the country.
He advised that the authorities should provide incentives to encourage ship owners who are engaging female Seafarers onboard, adding that the rewards will have a great effect in encouraging more shipowners to accommodate women onboard.
He said “I don’t know how you can focus on women Seafarers when there is no ship to post them”
“In all ramifications the female seafarers has not been fairly treated. Apart from the lack of Ship, Sea work are classified as men’s job, we have heard situation where a lady cadet was manhandled and raped, this particular case jeopardise the ship operations and further created fear into ship management and owners”
“The moment Nigerian stop seeing women as pleasure units, this will change”
“Let us negate this old saying “No petty coat on board”