NIMASA: Why   Jamoh Is Committed To Improved Nigerian seafarers Welfare

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By Stephen Ubanna

For years, Nigerian seafarers had repeatedly complained of marginalization by foreign shipping lines and Nigerian Liquefied, NLNG, Limited, particular, over poor remuneration compared to their Philipian Counterparts.

The Value investigations shows that   there are over 50,000 merchant  vessels operating  all over the world , transferring cargoes  between places and keeping economies of countries inEurope, Asia, North and South America including  the African continent running.

There is no gain saying the fact that oil and gas from the Gulf region,  or phones in containers  being shipped  from the Asian countries of China, Honkong or the North American country of Vietnam  to other parts of the world  is running  on a  24 hours non-stop  on a daily basis  with the precision and diligence of seafarers.

 While  the Ship Brokers, Charterer s and ship owners  are said  to be taking care of the financial aspect of the trade , the seafarers, according to industry stakeholders  are the one executing   the real life aspect of the maritime trade.

Note that the job of the seafarers involve years of rigorous  training  in mastering  all aspects of Navigation, cargo work and ship operations and the everyday application of I which may have informed  why they desired improved  working condition  and standard of living  .   It is on records that ships carry more than 90% of world trade manned by the seafarers, and both Nigerians and foreigners.

This may have informed , why Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, with  his over 29 years in the nation’s maritime sector  had made it as his watchword over the last two years  ‘’to improve  the country’s seafarers  welfare  by initiating  measures to support the move.

The NIMASA, Director General  may have gladdened the heart of the Nigerian seafarers when he hinted in November, 2020, barely one year in office,  that there are policies on the pipeline  to improve the quality  of training  and Certification, as well as  the remuneration of the country’s seafarers.  

The NIMASA, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, and his Management Team from the onset, an insider said  have been much committed  in developing a system  of harmonized  Port state Control Inspection procedures and working through  the strategic quadrants cooperation, coordination, collaboration and cooperation, which  appears to have been  working in that direction.

Jamoh,DG, NIMASA, Speaks At NJIC, Tripartite Meeting In Lagos

The NIMASA, Director General, who could not hide his feelings was said to have  told the industry stakeholders at the meeting   that the ongoing  review of the working conditions of the country’s seafarers  by the NJIC,  has become necessary  because  ‘‘ it has come at a time   when they are  in the process  of reviewing both the NIMASA Act  and Merchant Shipping Act’’. He was  said to have hinted that the review  of the seafarers working  condition will depend  on the outcomes  of the ongoing tripartite Negotiations  by the NJIC  expected to be  inputted  into both Amendments  to ensure  that ‘’they are binding’’.  

According to him, the importance of the industry stakeholders at the tripartite meeting was determined by’ ‘the need for adequate compensation, remuneration and workplace conditions for the Nigeria seafarers who were said to have been marginalized over the years by foreign shipping Lines including the NLNG.  

Appealing to employers of Labour ‘’to ensure responsible conditions of service guiding seafarers employment’’, Jamoh stressed that ‘‘this is in line with global best practices’’.  Recall that NIMASA, officials, had previously  led Negotiations alongside  the Maritime Workers of Nigeria, MWUN,  and other relevant stakeholders ‘’to increase dockworkers wages and entitlements  through the  Collective Bargaining  Agreement , CBA, initiative  in 2018, when Dakuku Peterside, the Rivers state born politician and political ally of  Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state and immediate past of Transportation  was still at the helms of affairs at the agency. The CB, was said to have resulted in the improved working conditions for Nigerian dockworkers.

Jamoh: DG,NIMASA, And Other Maritime Stakeholders At NJIC, Tripartite Meeting In Lagos

Victor Ochei, an Engineer, and the Maritime Regulatory Agency Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services may have taken advantage of the platform provided by the tripartite meeting of the industry stakeholders for review  of seafarers welfare to speak out.  Ochei, who according to Osagie Edward, an Assistant Director and he agency spokesperson who also serves   as the Chairman of the NJIC, in his speech had laid emphasizes on ‘’the benefits of the ongoing review  of the Nigerian  Maritime sector  as a whole to the country’’.

Hear him:A review  of the CBA,  this time around  is  needed  for improved  wages and living  standards  for seafarers  operating  in Nigerian territorial waters, and who are undoubtedly  an ‘’integral  part of the nation’s maritime sector’’.     

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