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SAA:  NIMASA commences foreign training of personnel.

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Segun Oladipupo

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said it has sent some  of its personnel to Cyprus and Portugal as part of measures to take over of the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA).

It added that it has commenced deployment of eight gunboats and two patrol vessels to man the deep blue project initiative and other maritime assets.

Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr. Victor Ochei, disclosed this at the 5th Quadrennial National Delegate Conference of the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN).

His words, “The deep blue cut across not just NIMASA but NIMASA is championing it as we speak. However, the deployment of our assets have just started as regards ceding of the secure anchorage to NIMASA.

“Now we must ensure that the anchorage is properly protected so we deploy some of the assets of the blue deep project to ensure protection and security of our waters.

“But as we speak,  people are being trained now in Cyprus and Portugal so that by the time they are done, you will see a very secured maritime domain,”Ochei disclosed.

The NIMASA chieftain also disclosed that plans were in the offing to establish career part for the Nigerian dockworkers in a bid for them to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.

The apex maritime regulatory agency also reiterated its commitment for training and retraining of the dockers.

He said NIMASA was saddled with the responsibility of building capacity for  dockworkers just like the continuous training for seafarers’.

Ochei noted that dockworkers in no distance time would be transformed intellectually through the proposed training locally and internationally, adding that the career part will give room for a minimum standard entry and career progression standardisation for new or future intake.

The NIMASA boss also harped on the need for the dockworkers to register with the agency as part of collating and processing of data just as what was obtained in the seafaring profession.

He enjoined the labour group to ensure swift response on the registration, saying NIMASA would always protect and regulate the seafarers and dockers respectively.

According to him, failure to register with the apex maritime regulatory agency is a violation of the regulatory functions of NIMASA .

“Permit me to also reiterate the agency’s commitment towards the training and re-training of Nigerian dockworkers to acquire the relevant certifications,  especially on specialised courses to enable them compete favourably with their foreign counterparts and in furtherance to the provision of the Cabotage act

“In the same vein , dockworkers are also being trained in line with international standards . The agency is at the verge of developing career part for the Nigerian dockworkers , which will make the occupation competitive and attractive like seafarers”.

“Furthermore , the recent signing of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA,) , Minimum Standard for the Dock Labour Industry for 2020- 2023, is another step in the right direction aimed at improving the welfare of the dockworkers.

“In order to accommodate dockworkers at all work locations across the nation,  the collective bargaining net has been expanded to include dockworkers at jetties , ICD’s , bonded warehouse, off dock terminals , offshore location etc”, he noted.

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