Merchant Navy seeks NIMASA intervention in DPR imposition of fee on seafarers
The Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association has called on management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to wade into recent moves by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) imposition of Offshore Safety Permit (OSP) on Nigerian seafarers.
The National President, Comrade Bob Yousou and the Secretary General, Comrade Aleakhue John Okpono , in a letter dated February 22, 2021 ,a copy sighted by our correspondent, maintained that Nigerian Seafarers working on the Oil and Gas Offshore vessels are being exploited by some of their employers by compelling them to pay for the Offshore safety Permit (OSP).
The statement noted that the OSP was part of DPR’s guidelines and is required by International Oil Companies (IOCs) adding that NIMASA should educate the oil and gas regulatory agency on its breach of international conventions.
The statement titled “IMPOSITION OF OFFSHORE SAFETY PERMIT (OSP) ON NIGERIAN SEAFARERS,” was addressed to the Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jimoh, Executive Director, Maritime labor & Cabatage NIMASA and the Director, Maritime Labor Services (MLS), NIMASA.
The statement reads in full: “I bring fraternal greetings from our Association under the leadership of Engr. Bob Joseph Yousuo to you.
“Our attention has been drawn to the above subject. Sir, it might interest you to know that Nigerian Seafarers working on the Oil and Gas Offshore vessels are being exploited by some of their employers by compelling them to foot the cost or Offshore safety Permit (OSP).
“It is a known fact that Seafarers are guided by IMO Conventions and guidelines from your agency, NIMASA as the Nigeria apex
body regulating the Seafaring activities.
“It is also worthy to note that Nigerian Seafarer’s undergo STCW 95 courses among which is personal safety and social responsibility, so it becomes very worrisome that a Seafarer is to pay for Offshore Safety Permit and in the same vein pay to obtain personal safety and social responsibility as enshrined in STCW 95.
“Sir, be informed that this OSP is part of DPR guidelines and is required by 10Cs.
“The cost of it has always been borne by the individual companies, but presently, some of the Oil and Gas Offshore employers have started reneging taking responsibility of paying tor the OSP then transferring it to the Seafarers.
“In view of the above and knowing that your agency is the Nigeria Maritime regulatory body, we urge you to verify this claim and put a stop to it.
“Seafarers cannot pay tor the cost of STCW ’95 courses among which is safety and besides be made to pay for another offshore safety permit . The time has come for Nigerian seafarers not to be exploited not enslave by any employer .
“They must possess their rights and professionalism must be upheld.
“We hope that this letter will be treated with the urgency,” it reads.
It would be recalled that the seafarers union over the weekend kicked against DPRs imposition of the permit.
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