The Senior Staff Union of Seafarers in Nigeria has lamented the plight of its members in the face of the novel Covid-19 ravaging the world.
In its May Day speech, a copy of which was sent to nigeriamaritime360.com, the National President of the Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNOWTSSA), Comrade Bob Joseph Yousuuo called on the Federal Government to create avenue for the ships to change crew to avoid fatigue capable of causing accidents.
Yousuuo warned that continuous stay at work could lead to fatigue which can eventually result to accident.
“Words can’t explain the sufferings an average Nigeria Seafarer and worker has passed through as a result of this deadly disease called #COVID-19.
“Majority of our seafarers have suffered a lot from the non-crew change resulting from restrictions in movement, intershift not working, making it difficult for cheque clearance as well as no chopper fly. I strongly feel and share your pains and salute your courage.
“What we care for now is our precious lives and we believe and trust in God for His infinite mercy, guidance and protection. He is an able God. He will surely see us through.
The theme of this year’s May Day celebration by the federating unions is tagged: “60 Years of Nationhood: Insecurity, Wage, Poverty and the Future of Work in Nigeria”.
Comrade Yousuuo added that the obligation of the union is to join hands with the Federal and State Governments to make sure the country survives the coronavirus pandemic.
“As we celebrate Nigeria workers which seafarers are part of today @ 60, we want the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to look inwardly to solving our challenges rather than relying on foreign body.
“It is also not out of place to consider the services of Seafarers as essential. It’s a known fact that about 90 per cent of the World Trade is carried out by seafarers world-wide.
“I am using this May Day address to call on the Federal Government through the Minister of Transportation to consider Maritime sector as part of essential jobs/services as the plan to gradually ease lock down by 4th of May 2020 .
“My appeal is premised on the need to have crew change possible as most seafarers have overstayed on-board.
Staying on-board more than required can cause fatigue and stress which can cause fatal accident.”
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