Navy wants NIMASA to upgrade Nigeria’s seafarers certificate

The Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNOWTSSA) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to upgrade Nigeria’s Certificate of Competency (COC) to measure up with international standards.

The President of the association, Bob Yousou, in his Seafarer’s Day celebration speech, urged the apex maritime regulatory agency to expedite action on the move for Nigeria’s CoC to be admissible in other countries.

Yousou also called on the legal department of the agency to expedite action in making sure the issue of Near Coastal Voyage (NCV) in our certificates is resolved.

“In terms of certificate acceptance by other countries, we urge 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.”

Lamenting on the plight of members of the association, the President said, “This year Seafarer’s Day celebration is not for long speeches, but to sympathize with our colleagues who as a result of the global pandemic has been abandoned, sacked by their employers and some unpaid of their salaries.

“The global epidemic called Covid-19 has a much negative impact on the global profession called seafaring as most countries closed their boarders and also imposed interstate curfew in all State of Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

It is a fact that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has canvassed that Seafarers be recognized as key workers in line with the joint position of the (2) two seafarers unions in Nigeria with NIMASA that seafaring should be included in essential service provider in Nigeria.

Besides, he called on employers and government agencies in the maritime to ensure that seafarers are well paid in view of the challenges they face in the course if their jobs.

“As we celebrate the Seafarer’s world-wide today (yesterday), 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 holistic 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.”

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