By Kenneth Jukpor
Merchant Seafarers Association of Nigeria (MSAN) has written a petition to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) over unpaid salaries of seafarers onboard a Nigerian ship, MT ADEBOMI1 one year ago.
Stallionaire Oil and Gas Limited, owners of the MT ADEBOMI1 vessel, owed salaries from December 2018 to May 2019 when the seafarers duly disembarked from the vessel without any fracas or complaints from their employer.
The copy of the petition retrieved by MMS Plus newspaper yesterday, was addressed to the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh and received at the agency on Monday this week.
The petition was signed by the Secretary General of MSAN, Capt. Alfred Oluwasegun Oniye and MSAN’s legal adviser, Mr. Jonathan Nwagu.
According to the petition, the affected crew include; Capt. Ogunshakin Williams (Master), Engr. Joseph Dibia (Chief Engineer) and Kolawole Bolakale Issa (Chief Cook), among others. They had professionally discharged their duties as assigned and directed by Stallionaire Oil and Gas and its crewing agency CAMSHIP Limited.
Narrating the crew’s ordeal, the petition read, “In December 2018, Stallionaire Oil and Gas Limited stopped payment of the crew salaries because of its burnt storage facility that has nothing to do with operating MT ADEBOMI1. The crew stayed onboard the vessel, working assiduously to put the vessel in class because the vessel was not in class at that time. They kept receiving and carrying out instructions as directed by Stallionaire and CAMSHIP.”
“To our surprise, we discovered that Stallionaire Oil and Gas Limited was paid by the insurance company for the loss incurred on the burnt storage facility. CAMSHIP had also been short-paying the crew of ADEBOMI1, which against Maritime Labour Convention and the Merchant Shipping Act, 2007. The crew taxes were also deducted but not remitted.”
The group also lamented that Stallionaire issued the Captain and entire crew dud cheques for their outstanding salaries after replacing them with a new crew on May 11, 2019.
MSAN, a body registered to advance and protect rights of seafarers, beckoned on the leadership of NIMASA to intervene in the order to prevent a possible stand-off between the aggrieved crew and the managements of Stallionaire and CAMSHIP.
The seafarers’ group also stated that the victimized crew of MT ADEBOMI1 was attacked by sea pirates during their trip from Port Harcourt with Capt. Ogunshaki Williams involved in accident during the operation.