Segun Oladipupo |
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has uncovered over 475 fake CoC certificates among Nigerian seafarers.
The agency stated this at a recent parley with seafarers in Lagos.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh expressed shock over the development, saying the agency was working to curtail the ugly trend.
The DG was represented at the event by the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Shehu Ahmed.
The Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNOWTSSA) had earlier charged the inspection team of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to step up the fight against seafarers’ fake certificates.
The National President of Seafarers’ Union, Comrade Bob Yousuo, frowned at the increasing number of counterfeit certificates in possession of some officers aboard vessels, even as he advocated for the government to arrest ship owners who employ such calibre of employees without proper verification of their certificates.
He alleged that ship owners engage the services of these class of seafarers due to cheap labour they offer which in turn has led to the incessant catastrophe onboard ships, leading to death , marine accident, vessel mishap and other distress at sea.
Yousou also stated that the management of NIMASA has not done much to embark on ship to ship visitation in order to cross check and verify the authenticity of seafarers’ certificate.
He urged the management of NIMASA to put in place measures in a bid to investigate issuance of the certificate and nip such in the bud.
According to him, ship owners and manning agents should step up efforts and assist the agency on the issue of counterfeit certificates in possession of the seafarer.
While urging seafarers and members of the union to embrace local and foreign trainings to boost their curriculum vitae and experiences, Yousou stressed that continuous upgrade of credentials was essential to the mental and physical development of any seaman willing to succeed in the chosen profession.
“The issue of fake certification in possession of seafarers is a collective effort that must be addressed by NIMASA.
“Both the seafarers, NIMASA, employers and ship owners must work together and tackle the issue. We must come together and kick against it.
“For the manning agents and ship owners, I must say that they must verify the certificate of the people they want to engage on board their ships and it is only through proper verification they can know those with the right certificates and those with fake.
“We are clamouring for the officers of NIMASA to go round , check and inspect their papers”,he lamented.
“We must come together to eradicate the issue .We the union don’t have much on the issue but to sensitise our members but NIMASA and manning agents need to do the right thing to put a stop on the issue.
Continuing, the Merchant Navy frontman alleged that ship owners source for cheap labourers, thus undermining the authenticity of their certificates
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