Merchant Navy laments non-recognition of Ratings, Deck Engine officers as Seafarers 

Segun Oladipupo

A former President of the Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water transport Senior Staff Association, Engr. Matthew Alalade has called on the government to recognise ratings and officers in the celebration of seafarers day.

Alalade said that the government has always concentrated its efforts on cadets leaving the senior officers out.

As a result, he said the celebration should be total and not sectional.

In a chat with our correspondent, Alalade who was the President of Merchant Navy between 2012 and 2020, maintained that the welfare of the seafarers should be paramount to the government, saying the essence of the celebration would be defeated if the welfare of the people concerned is nothing to write home about.

He said, “Welfare of seafarers should be paramount in relation  to MLC and services rendered during covid -19 pandemic ravaging the maritime transportation  globally.

“Celebration of seafarers must be total. In the past, our government have been celebrating only cadets, not remembering the ratings, deck and engine officers as seafarers.

“What they usually promote is only cadets. Cadets are just like apprentice. Let us remember the past seafarers in order to encourage those coming behind.

He also appealed to the government to use the occasion of this year’s celebration to acquire vessels for commercial and training  purposes.

He thumbed up seafarers for their courage, bravery and resilience during the lockdown arising from covid- 19 pandemic

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