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Seafarers Must Be Treated Fairly And Remains A Priority- Transportation Minister

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Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has challenged ship-owners and other stakeholders in the Nigerian maritime industry to devise creative means at ensuring improved welfare for seafarers while proffering permanent solutions to issues that affect their work.

 

Lovetvnews Nigeria reports that Amaechi stated this in Lagos in his address at the 2021 Day of the Seafarer, ” themed” Fair Future Seafarers.

In a statement signed by the Head of Corporate Communications at NIMASA, Philip Kyanet the transportation Minister
applauded seafarers in Nigeria and the world over, for their contributions to global commerce and economy, saying:

“They contend with perils of the sea and sometimes put their lives on the line just to ensure that goods are safely delivered at designated ports and this is one of the reasons we celebrate them every year.”

“As we celebrate the seafarers’ day, let us further identify and proffer workable solutions to the issues that will still be relevant to the seafarers after the pandemic, such as fair treatment, living and working conditions of the seafarers, among others,”
Amaechi told maritime stakeholders.

He highlighted the harrowing experiences seafarers endured in the course of their job, especially at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

“I am, however, glad that Nigeria, as a member state of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), was one of the first countries to declare seafarers essential workers to ease their sufferings.

“The nation through the Federal Ministry of Transportation and its Agencies will continue to ensure that government policies are tailored towards improving the welfare and working conditions of the seafarers in line with international standard and statutory conventions,” he added.

This online news medium understands that Amaechi restated the Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring that the country’s maritime domain remained safe and secure for seafarers working on ships transiting through the waterways. He identified the Deep Blue Project unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 10, 2021, as a major effort to curb the hazards of seafaring.

He said the provision of the integrated maritime security architecture was “to help combat these maritime criminalities that hinder the security of crew members.”
Besides, the Minister said, Nigeria now has an antipiracy law, the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019, to prosecute maritime offenders.

Speaking in similar vein, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, u in his welcome address insisted on a reconsideration of the war risk insurance premium charged on cargo headed for the Gulf of Guinea.

He was reacting to the Lloyd’s List Intelligence response, a specialist business information service dedicated to the global maritime community, to his earlier call for review of the high insurance based on improved security conditions in the region.

Jamoh, however, restated his call on the international community to reexamine the war risk insurance imposed on Gulf of Guinea-bound ships, saying security conditions in the region are rapidly improving.

His words: “It is significant that critical stakeholders in the world shipping community, like Lloyd’s List, are recognising Nigeria’s efforts to make the Gulf of Guinea safe and secure for seafarers and ships.

“But it would be unfair for the world to sidestep such huge investment and commitment to maritime security and retain the high war risk insurance premium on ships bound for our waters.”

He said continuing the war risk insurance would be a disservice to Nigeria and investors in the country’s maritime environment.

“Since the world now acknowledges our commitment to maritime security and the recent security improvements, it is only fair that relevant stakeholders should begin to rethink the charges that predated such efforts by Nigeria.

“The poor masses of this country should not be made to pay for the actions of a few individuals bent on tarnishing Nigeria’s image,” he stated

The highlight of the event, which drew robust participation of maritime stakeholders in this year’s event, was the presentation of Certificates of Competency (COC) to cadets of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), who recently graduated from the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Alexandra, Egypt, by the NIMASA Director-General.

June 25 every year is designated as the Day of the Seafarer by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to celebrate seafarers and their co

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