SEAFARERS in the country have appealed to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to provide friendly working environment for shipping business to thrive in the country.
The group under the aegis of Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association, stated this in Lagos recently while unveiling activities to mark the 2018 Day of the Seafarer.
President of the association, Mathew Alalade, commended NIMASA for giving Nigerian Seafarers the opportunity to work onboard ships, noting that the implementation of Articles of the Cabotage Law has increased.
He said, “our people are telling us that NIMASA is calling them and they are getting jobs onboard. So in terms of cabotage, obviously, NIMASA is doing well now. But NIMASA should do more to improve the welfare of the seafarers because of the stress they face at sea which can lead to trauma for them.
“Thousands of Nigerian Seafarers had before now been roaming the streets because of lack of vessels to crew on.
This had been largely due to failure of the federal government to acquire its own national carrier, as well as failing to support indigenous shipowners to float their own vessels.
As a result of this unpalatable development, several Nigerian graduates of Marine related courses have hardly got a vessel to crew on for their mandatory sea time training.
“The indigenous shiponwers have continued to lament of NIMASA not fulfilling its statutory obligations by rendering government supportive actions for maintenance of their vessels since the federal government has not been willing to aquire its own national fleet for the training of Nigerian seafarers.
It could be recalled that as at 1979, the federal government had about 21 vessels on its fleet, but had to sell them off because of lack of the propensity to manage them.”