The Director General of the Merchant Sail Navy, JohnLinus Okoronkwo, has cleared the air on the recent publication of the Nigerian Navy, saying his organization was not in any way mentioned by the recent press publication made by the Nigerian Navy Director of Information.
He said that the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 58 Vol. 100 under Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, gcfr as the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria made a Dissolution and Proscription of Certain Associations Order in the year 2013 and Associations dissolved and proscribed are
1. Nigerian Maritime Security Agency (NMSA) 2. Nigerian Merchant Navy Corps (NMNC)
3. Nigerian Merchant Navy Petroleum Security and Safety Corps (NMNPSSC).
JohnLinus explained that, Merchant Sail Navy International Security have not come into existence in 2013 when the above mentioned association was proscribed by the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette as a result of the activities witnessed by various associations then, and no license or registration with the name ‘Merchant Navy’ was issued to regulate the association’s operations.
He said: “On December 10 2019, Merchant Sail Navy International Security, a private marine security outfit, was established and registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Abuja, which operates under the laws of Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and this our organisation today became the only registered Merchant Sail Navy in the country.
“We have a deep history of our organisation as a reserve marine formation, duly verified and registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Abuja and we are registered to operate in the 36 states of Nigeria.”
Asked if there was any understanding or relationship between the Merchant Sail Navy Organization and the Nigerian Merchant Navy or Nigerian Coast Guard, JohnLinus said, certified Seafarers both Maritime Graduates and Cadets are known as Merchant Navy or Merchant Mariners, they’re individuals that passed through Certified Nigeria Maritime institutions such as Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron, Nigeria Maritime University and other private certified Maritime institutions, these Seafarers and other genuine entrepreneurs that are primed in supporting the Nigeria Maritime industrial growth choose to join the Merchant Sail Navy so to assist in reforming the industry as an association that consortium such professionals, so they join us individual not with the name Nigerian Merchant Navy or Nigerian Coast Guard.
See excerpts of interview below:
Do you deploy your members to any operation as approved by the Corporate Affairs Commission?
I can only recommend them for any available job of their discipline I mean what they studied in the institution, they can go follow the company employment procedure and secure the job. I will only deploy them for active Operation when I secure private guard license from the right channel.
Do you use same uniform with the Nigerian Navy?
No, we don’t use same uniform with the Nigerian Navy, like I said, the Merchant Sail Navy consortium Nigeria Seafarers and my members dresses on their professional outfit only when they’re working onboard a ship or when having a general meeting or program in the organization.
It will also interesting you to know that we even recommend our members that are not Seafarers for further studies in a certified Maritime institutions even abroad, we recommended one of our members who traveled to Canada for his studies this year 2023.
What do you have to say about the publication of the Nigerian Navy relating to the Fake Maritime security bodies?
Well, I have been in the Merchant Navy Charitable Seafarers Care Association of Nigeria an NGO incorporated under the Corporate Affairs Commission Abuja and till date I believe that the law makers in Nigeria are the National Assembly and the Law Makers after hearing about the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette in 2013 they still established a Bill for the Nigerian Merchant Navy and the Nigerian Coast Guard which passed first and second reading which they referred the Bill to the Committee on Navy. For me, only the Navy knows the best reason for the publication and I believe is for the betterment of Nigerians, but how ever the Nigerian Navy should understand the challenges Nigerian Seafarers ( Maritime graduates and Cadets) are facing in the country, 85 percentage of the Seafarers are unemployed after spending millions of naira in the Maritime institutions without any Job, but the content of the Bill will help to provide jobs for the Seafarers and Nigerians.
What is your advice to the fake bodies mentioned by the Nigerian Navy?
There are so many fake Maritime bodies for the truth, especially some association will register their company with a different name but will choose to answer Merchant Navy and Sail Navy because all are Maritime associations, I made a publication long ago, encouraging such associations to answer their registered name, they are the ones causing the problems Maritime industrials are facing today.
Do you recruit your members as they join your association?
No we don’t recruit, go and verify, we only reorient our members from Various institutions for a 5days induction program for them to understand how the Merchant Sail Navy operate and we officially inaugurate the members in the organization as our officials.
JohnLinus Okoronkwo also address all his members and charged them to fit into the organisation’s standards, maintain peace, be disciplined and protect the law. They were also encouraged to report all unusual and illegal acts to the law enforcement agencies. With this, the Merchant Sail Navy will continue to excel.