By Kenneth Jukpor
In a bid to address the rising unemployment and lack of training opportunities for seafarers, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has urged the Federal Government to as matter of urgency revamp the Nigeria National Shipping Line (NNSL) or a substitute national carrier.
Speaking during the 5th Quandriennal Delegates Conference 2021 of the Seamen/NIWA,Water Transport Branch, the President General of the union, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, noted that if the NNSL is revived more seafarers will be employed.
Adeyanju also appealed for a revamp of Seafarers development system, adding that this will further boost manpower development and job creation for seafarers in the country.
The union boss lamented the alarming rate of foreign dominance in the nation’s maritime domain, while calling on the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to bring Nigerian seafarers to parity with their foreign counterparts
He, however, observed the difficulty and the high cost of obtaining discharge certificate, urging NIMASA to reduce and provide the necessary Seafarers Identity Documents for workers.
Adeyanju further informed that some of the challenges are results of the non-enforcement of the Cabotage Act, adding that the foremost national training academy; the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, needs all the necessary support to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.
He itemized requisite funding and upgrading of training facilities at the MAN Oron as significant steps to make the institution attain global standard to bridge the gaps in manpower development.
Meanwhile, Comrade Sunday Avoseh was elected as President, Seamen/NIWA Water Transport Workers Branch of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria.
Avoseh, a former District Chairman in Lagos is to run the affairs of the branch for four years.
He took over from Comrade Francis Bunu, who has been elected Deputy President-General of the Union.
Speaking shortly after his swearing in ceremony, the newly elected President, expressed dissatisfaction over lack of proper regulations on manning agents by the designated authorities in Nigeria.
According the him, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has failed to provide a comprehensive database of authentic manning agents in country, a situation he called on the authority to finding lasting solution to the compilation of registered recruitment organisations for seafarers.
Earlier, an Assistant Director Maritime Labour Services, NIMASA, Mr. Irogore Raymond assured that the regulatory agency had initiated moves to address the numerous seafarers challenges.
“We enjoin everyone to be of good conduct as we go about this election. I want to assure you that all these issues read out as challenges, we are looking at them to proffer solutions to all of them. We are starting a pre meeting to have seafarers well represented and these issues addressed,” the NIMASA representative said.