Seafarers lament government neglect


The National President of the Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association, Engr Mathew Alalade has lamented the neglect of seafarers by the government even as the President of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN), Mr. Bolaji Akinola said 6000 cadets of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria(MAN) Oron are lacking sea time training.


Alalade disclosed on Wednesday during the celebration of the 2014 day of the seafarer in Nigeria.


Alalade said, every year too many seafarers are either injured or lose their lives in maritime accident. 


“More often than not their injuries and death go largely unrecorded and are soon forgotten by all but close friends and families.”


He urged government and port authority to treat seafarer as partners in the fight against terrorism and facilitate their access to ports and shore facilities.


Alalade said that seafarers have a huge Impact on the development of the Maritime Sector and the National Economy at large.


He said, “Seafarers Capacity Building would help in addressing capital flight occasioned by ship repairs abroad, aid Nigerian cadets being trained in Naval Architecture and in anticipation to achieving the spirit of cabotage law, which seeks to make vessels used for coastal trade to be built in Nigeria.


“Seafarers capacity building is capable of reducing youth restiveness and poverty,” he disclosed.

Moreover, Akinola had said that the lack of sea time had been a bane to the growth of the industry.


Akinola, however identified that the establishment of a national carrier and the revival of the business of indigenous ship owners would help in solving the challenges of lack of sea time training for our cadets.


He said, “after training as a cadets, the most important of the sea training as a cadet which is sea time training is missing.The government must however take this training seriously that they should acquire training vessels for the nation’s maritime institutions.”


He however charged the government to use the Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds (CVFF), to acquire vessels for shipowners who can then use it to train Nigerian cadets.


“It is a shame that ten years after the enactment of Cabotage law, the welfare of seafarers are even worse than pre cabotage regime.If foreign vessels still still traverse our waters unchecked, the story will not change but when indigenous shipowners have ships that are working, it will be easy to put our cadets on board ships.”


He continued, “our poorly paid seafarers will be better remunerated which will also have multiplier effect on the economy of the country.”





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