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Reject any nation that rejects our seafarers’ certificates, unionist charges  NIMASA.

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Segun Oladipupo

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has been charged to reject the certificates of maritime nations that would not accept the certificates of competency issued by Nigerian indigenous seafarers’ training institutions.

Comrade Sunday Avoseh, President, Seamen, NIWA, Water Transport Branch of the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria said this at a function  in Lagos, recently.

He said that  if the regulatory agency could improve on the standards of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, it would be able to compete with other global maritime institutions.

He added that if the institution is worth its onion, the agency could stand on its feet that any nation that would not accept the local certification of Nigerian seafarers, such country would also lose privilege of parading its certificate in Nigeria.

Avoseh lamented high cost of Nigerians going abroad to acquire certificates, adding that there was nothing other countries were offering that Nigeria could not produce.

He said, “If NIMASA improves the standard of MAN, Oron, any country that will not accept certificate of Nigeria, through bilateral relationship with other nations, should also not accept their certificates.

“NIMASA need to do something urgent because foreign exchange is being wasted by seafarers going to obtain papers outside this country. There is nothing they are going to get outside the country that we cannot be able to do here. NIMASA need to give priority to this.”

He pleaded with the management of the apex maritime regulatory agency to as a matter of urgency, lower the cost of certificate and discharge books renewal, saying the present cost is too high.

Speaking further, he called on NIMASA to expedite action in implementing the Cabotage Act as well as reduce the hospital bills for seafarers.

“Today, for a seafarer to be able to renew his certificate of competency and do endorsement of their discharge books, what they are charging is too high , even the discharge books

“They need to lower their price so that it can be affordable for seafarers because for someone who has not gained employment and you are asking him to come and pay exhorbitant fee to be able to renew their documentation, I don’t think that is right.

“They also need to look into the fees that are charged in the hospitals for medical.

“These are the things NIMASA needs to do, including the implementation of Cabotage law. It is annoying to still see foreign ratings on our wayerways, NIMASA needs to do something.

“The Act that established NIMASA has empowered it, all it needs to do is to bite.

© 2021, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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