Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senor Staff Association
(NMNO/WTSSA) had called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to stop the disparity in wages between foreign seafarers and the Nigerian seafarers.
President of the union, Comrade Bob Yousou in his address to commemorate the International Day of the Seafarers 2020 said the union have been clamoring for fair deal for its members in terms
of their remuneration.
Comrade Yousou said it is no longer acceptable that foreign seafarers should earn more than Nigerians, adding that Seafaring is a global profession.
In terms of certificate acceptance by other Countries, the union urged NIMASA to have a bilateral and multilateral agreement with other Maritime nations so as to recognize certificates issued by NIMASA.
“In the same vein, we request NIMASA legal department to expedite action to making sure the issue of Near Coastal Voyage (NCV) in our certificates is resolved and our Certificate of Competency (COC) be in line with other
Maritime States i.e. classes preferred to NCV”
“As we celebrate the Seafarer’s world-wide today, it is very pertinent to acknowledge the challenges they face as well as the sacrifices offer to ensure the chain of global trade is maintained. It’s therefore my pleasure to request the apex regulatory body NIMASA to do more by ensuring that Nigerian Seafarers are well paid and are also provided with decent working environment in line with international best practice”
NIMASA should ensure that unpaid wages to Nigeria Seafarers becomes a thing of the past. The Agency should have a wholistic appraisal of the CVFF as to distribute the funds to indigenous
ship-owners to boost our national fleets. In doing this; the fund should be distributed on merit basis” he said
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) set the theme for seafarers day 2020 as “Seafarers as Essential Workers”
25th of June every year has been set aside by IMO to celebrate the braveness of seafarers globally in discharge of their duties in a most terrifying condition of the ocean and seas.
The Merchant Navy President noted that Nigerian seafarers were among the frontline workers of covid-19 pandemic as they play very vital roles in making sure goods like; food items, medicine, medical personals as well as medical equipments are transmitted to where they are mostly needed.
According to him, the global epidemic has greatly affected the seafarers as it becomes very difficult for crew change as crews are expected to be quarantine before going or disembarking
He said that difficult working conditions, difficulties in accessing Ports and repatriation were some of the serious challenges being faced this period by Seafarers. Also, the interstate movement restrictions pose another challenge to the seafaring profession.
“We however appreciate NIMASA for being there for us in this regard as the Agency put in much effort to convince the Federal Government of Nigeria why Seafarers should be consider as essential service provided”
“As the world recognize the impact of Seafarers today, I would like to reiterate that this noble professionals that are more than 1.5 million of the world working population be highly respected by Shipping companies, Manning Agents and the Government of each
States because they provide unimagined duties, but yet, they are often over looked despite their relevance”
“Without seafarers, the world would have been in different look.
It is my submission that Nigeria through NIMASA should recognize Seafarers as essential service provider and therefore the need to support, assist and make travel options open to them during this trying time in our life history” Comrade Yousou stated