Real Reasons Why Nigerian Seafarers are Rejected by Foreign Ships— Maiguwa

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By DAPO OLAWUNI

The President of Alumni of Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron (AMANO) Mr Emmanuel Maiguwa said that the reason why Nigerian seafarers find it difficult to work onboard some foreign ships is because the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) does not have any existing bilateral relationship with these countries where the ship is from.

Maiguwa stated this at a recent press conference in Lagos, saying that there must be a bilateral relationship between Nigeria and some other ship owning countries before the Nigerian certificates can be employed on their vessels.

The AMANO President also stated that if Nigeria can get most of its seafarers employed onboard foreign ships, it would amount to foreign exchange and this would further reduce the pressure currently placed on the Nigerian Naira.

Speaking, he said “I keep hearing that Nigerian certificates are being rejected, but to me, it is strange, and I want us to understand that it is not that Nigerian certificates are being rejected, the issue is that Nigerian nationals are not being accepted by certain nationals onboard their vessels”

“There are rules in the game, Nigerian certificates is under NIMASA, the agency needs to have a bilateral with other countries to be able to place Nigerians on their flag vessels”

“If you go to most of the maritime administration websites, you would see the list of countries they allow to be on their vessels and the list of countries that they can share cadets with”

“So, if we don’t have that arrangement, it is not necessarily true that Nigerian certificates are being rejected” he said

Speaking on the scourge of fake certificates by Nigerian seafarers, Maiguwa said it is a general challenge that is not unique to seafaring profession alone.

He however informed that NIMASA has launched a website for people to verify seafarers certificates.

“Talking about fake certification, this is general challenge, there is fake everything, the only thing I have not seen a fake version of, is human being” he said

Speaking on how Nigerian government can take advantage of the seafaring profession to ease the pressure on Naira by the Dollars, he said opportunities should be provided for Nigerian shipowners to trade, while provision should be made for acquisition of more platforms.

“It is one thing for you to have a platform, another thing is for the platform to be trading. Provision of platforms should be ensured by government and its agencies”

“If seafarers work on local vessels alone, there is no forex, but if they work on foreign vessels, it is foreign exchange. If we have seafarers in sufficient numbers, we have the potential to reduce the pressure on the Dollar that is killing our Naira today”

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