By DAPO OLAWUNI
Following the myriads of complaints associated with delays experienced by Nigerian seafarers in getting their Certificates of Competency (COC); Seafarers Booklets among other essential documents, the Alumni of Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron (AMANO) has said that the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) should divest the authority of signing Certificates to the Head of Maritime Safety at the agency in order to eradicate bureaucracy and delay.
The association has also urged the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh to consider the use of electronic signatures, just like it is done by the Nigerian Immigration Service with the issuance of International Passports.
AMANO gave the address at a recent press conference held in Lagos. While reacting to questions on the delay of issuance of seafarers certificates, the President of AMANO, Emmanuel Maiguwa Gankino said the association has always championed the cause of seafarers whose certificates are delayed unnecessarily.
“Everytime seafarers come to us to complain, the leadership of AMANO has always taken it up with NIMASA, these are administrative issues and we are always giving feedbacks.
“There was one incident where the documents were signed by the DG and kept in two black boxes. When I approached the DG after the cadets complaint, he confirmed that he has since signed the document, so we started looking for it and it was later found in the box and distributed
“In my opinion, the DG of NIMASA should not have any business signing seafarers examination certificates, the head of Maritime safety should be able to do that.
“This would be able to cut a lot of bureaucracies. The head of maritime safety should be doing that with the Authority of the DG because the DG is the accounting officer, but things like Seafarers Certificates and getting it up to DG signature would cause delay.
“Today, on our international passports, I don’t think the Minister of Interior is the one signing it, even the Comptroller General signature is electronic. Our moat valued document in Nigeria today is our currency, and I don’t think everytime MINT prints money, they start taking it to the CBN Governor to start signing.
“There are innovative ways of getting these things done and I think NIMASA should look into that, so that AMANO would not be running every year to deal with these issues” he advised