By Kenneth Jukpor
As part of efforts to address Nigeria’s shipping woes in seafarers’ development, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has expressed interest in training Nigerian seafarers with its ITF Seafarers Fund.
ITF African Regional Secretary, Mr. Mohammed Dauda Safiyanu revealed this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), last week.
The ITF Regional Head observed that the problem of seatime and the Certificate of Competence (CoC) had relegated Nigerian seafarers to the background while other nations have advanced with regards training of seafarers.
Speaking at the meeting which held at the MWUN headquarters in Lagos, Dauda assured that he would use his office to explore
“We have an ITF Seafarers Fund that is managed by the ITF office in London. That fund was developed to make sure that we can offer services to seafarers with regards to welfare and training. We have realized that the seafarers in Nigeria have a big problem of training which is prerequisite for their certification. We would ensure that with the ITF Fund, we can give an opportunity for seafarers to work onboard vessels in the next one year”
“I plan to discuss with the leadership of ITF to inform them about the need to deploy the fund towards Nigerian seafarers training. I’m sure that after that dialogue we should have some certainty on how to deploy the fund for the training of Nigerian seafarers” he said.
Dauda also commended the current leadership of MWUN and the Nigerian Merchant Navy for their healthy relationship, noting that it was the first time in ages that both unions were in agreement for the collective good of their members.
He also admonished MWUN to increase their membership at the ITF, noting that Nigeria occupies significant positions at the African region of the global body as a result of her strong membership base.
Meanwhile, the President of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju expressed joy that the ITF executives decided to pay the union a visit and tour the Nigerian port environs.
“We want you to use your good office to ensure more Nigerian seafarers and dockworkers are trained. ITF was brought into Nigeria in 1987 and since then we have had a roboust relationship that led to the training of our members. However, dockworkers and seafarers have been denied training programmes in the past. Today, we see this as an opportunity to address this issue to enable more dockworkers and seafarers enjoy your trainings” Adeyanju said.
Adeyanju stressed that the current leadership of the MWUN and Merchant Navy have been capable as a result of the training they received from ITF in the past, admonishing the global body to return to its old policy of embracing Nigerians for training.