Welfare of Seafarers is critical to growth of maritime – Peterside

L-R: Executive Director, Maritime Labour & Cabotage Services, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Gambo Ahmed, Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, General Manager, INTELS Nigeria Limited Mr. Silvano Bellinato, Assistant General Manager INTELS Mr. Chibuike Oyebuike, and Deputy Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Nigeria Shippers’ Council Mr. Chukwuemeka Agu, at the celebration of the Day of the Seafarer in Onne, Port Harcourt Rivers State recently.

Welfare of seafarers is critical to the growth of the maritime sector, hence the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) will do all within its means to implement all International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and International Labour Organization conventions regarding the welfare of the seafarers.
Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Director General of NIMASA stated this while speaking during the celebration of the 2017 ‘Day of the Seafarers’ in Onne, Rivers state.
Peterside said that the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC) comprising of tripartite stakeholders, have reconvened to fashion out a decent wage and improved working and living conditions for the seafarers in line with the provisions of the convention and comparable to what is obtainable internationally. “It is therefore expected that once the collective bargaining agreement is signed, ship-owners will commence its full implementation”, he stated.
He reiterated the NIMASA’s commitment in engaging ship-owners and seafarer employers on the need to provide gainful employment to qualified Nigerian seafarers, calling on shipowners to give some level of preference to the seafarers especially in the cabotage trade as against the practice of engaging foreign seafarers.
“As Nigerians and maritime operators we should be proud of our seafarers and also encourage them to develop their careers/competences like their foreign counterparts,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NIMASA DG also used the opportunity to inform Stakeholders that the Agency is leaving no stone unturned to ensure full implementation of the Cabotage Act for the benefit of Nigerians.
Accordingly he said, “Cabotage Act is undergoing review and it is the Agency’s position that the review will take care of all the grey areas in the application, processing and granting of waiver to the extent it should be seen to give some level of advantage to Nigerian seafarers especially in the areas of employment and specialized training.”

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